Northwest Raiders to march in parade this weekend

Northwest Raiders to march in parade this weekend
Gerardo Mora

The Northwest Raiders will celebrate their National Pee Wee championship with a parade on Saturday.

The team from West Oak Lane won the Pop Warner National Super Bowl Championship for the “Midget” division in Orlando, Florida on December 13.

The parade, which was originally planned for Jan. 4 was rescheduled to this Sunday, January 10, due to weather concerns.

The parade will wind through Northwest Philadelphia, starting at Wayne and Chelten Avenues, head eastbound to 1100 E. Chelten Avenue, and end at the Lonnie Young Recreation Center. A pep rally will follow.

The Raiders, which have been based in West Oak Lane for 43 years, beat the New Britain Raiders of Connecticut, 26-6, to win its first Midget division championship in December.

Greg Bonner, the team’s assistant head coach, said the outpouring of support from the community has been eye-opening.

“I had no idea that many people actually cared about our games,” Bonner said.

The Raiders are the second local pee wee team to win a national championship. In 2010 the North Philly Blackhawks won the Division I Pop Warner National Championship.

Bonner said while Mayor Michael Nutter’s office contributed funding for the trip down south, he wasn’t sure if the mayor would attend the parade. A Nutter spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.