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HomeNewsArchivesSports Spotlight: Dwayne 'Juice' Maduro Keeps Football at the Forefront

Sports Spotlight: Dwayne 'Juice' Maduro Keeps Football at the Forefront

Nov. 12, 2008 — Law enforcement officer by day, flag football commissioner by night — either way you look at it, Dwayne "Juice" Maduro is something like a superman.
Attending Charlotte Amalie High School in the early 1980s, Maduro was an all-around athlete, going out for the football, track and basketball teams. He kept it up in college, where he worked toward an associate's degree in biology and bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of the Virgin Islands. From there he took a job as an enforcement officer with the Department of Health.
Maduro's real passion has always been for sports, especially football. Now the commissioner of junior varsity flag football for the past 10 years, Maduro still hopes to be able to give back to the community for a very long time.
"I've been asked by a lot of parents not to quit," Maduro said. "They always tell me they love the work I'm doing with their kids. I think it's my responsibility as a parent — I have a son who's six, and I want to see him progress and do positive things, so I've taken on the task of motivating young men. And if football is the avenue for me to do that, then I'll do it for as long as I can."
The father of one is also helping to raise two stepchildren, and understands the challenges that children in the territory face.
"That's why we started the Juice Football Camp," he said. "We do a lot of stuff here with the kids to try and keep them motivated, to keep them involved and to try to get them to understand life is more than just sports, it's about teamwork, camaraderie and building them up as good young men and as good members of society. The camp teaches them that life is about doing positive things and having positive role models, and I've done what I can with the tools that I have to try and pass that message onto the kids."
Over the years, Maduro has seen the evolution of flag football in the territory, going from one of the more mainstream sports in the schools to now barely hanging on to his JV league.
"Flag football has changed," he said. "I don't think it's diminished, but I think what's happened here in the territory, due to a lack of resources, parental involvement and the educational system actually promoting flag football, is that there have definitely been some changes. For example, there used to be both junior varsity and varsity flag football, so that if you're 15 years old and didn't make it into JV, you could wait until the next year and go to varsity. But over the past 15 years, we were at a point where there was no tackle football, now there's only flag football for the junior varsity and tackle football for the varsity."
But Maduro still has plans for the future of flag football in the territory: He wants to hold a Christmas tournament for junior varsity and varsity students, along with students returning from college during winter break. If this works out, Maduro also has set his sights on possible restarting the men's flag football league, which used to be popular in the summertime.
But his latest idea is an ambitious one. Maduro would like to bring the same Pop Warner, or pee-wee, league played on the mainland to the territory.
"This kind of thing has been proposed for years, and right now there's a group of us that are trying to get it off the ground," he said. "One of the pitfalls we've had so far is insurance. When you're talking about kids going out in helmets and shoulder pads just like the big guys, there are liability issues, and we're taking that very seriously. So far, we've been able to make contacts with some groups in the States about helping us, sponsoring us and getting us the other help we need to push it forward."
The end results will be worth the effort, Maduro said.
"The benefits, I think, about starting football so young is that it groups these kids who want to move up to the through school to the tackle football level," he said. "And it gives them a sense of union, because you've got kids coming from all different areas and nationalities, and they all have to work together. When you do that, those kind of lessons, learning how to depend and trust one another, moves from the football field to the school work, to the community, and everybody benefits."
The end goal is to show the students they can be productive, Maduro said: "We always say the kids are our future, but I think we need to put our foot forward and not just say it any more. We have to show it."
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Nov. 12, 2008 -- Law enforcement officer by day, flag football commissioner by night -- either way you look at it, Dwayne "Juice" Maduro is something like a superman.
Attending Charlotte Amalie High School in the early 1980s, Maduro was an all-around athlete, going out for the football, track and basketball teams. He kept it up in college, where he worked toward an associate's degree in biology and bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of the Virgin Islands. From there he took a job as an enforcement officer with the Department of Health.
Maduro's real passion has always been for sports, especially football. Now the commissioner of junior varsity flag football for the past 10 years, Maduro still hopes to be able to give back to the community for a very long time.
"I've been asked by a lot of parents not to quit," Maduro said. "They always tell me they love the work I'm doing with their kids. I think it's my responsibility as a parent -- I have a son who's six, and I want to see him progress and do positive things, so I've taken on the task of motivating young men. And if football is the avenue for me to do that, then I'll do it for as long as I can."
The father of one is also helping to raise two stepchildren, and understands the challenges that children in the territory face.
"That's why we started the Juice Football Camp," he said. "We do a lot of stuff here with the kids to try and keep them motivated, to keep them involved and to try to get them to understand life is more than just sports, it's about teamwork, camaraderie and building them up as good young men and as good members of society. The camp teaches them that life is about doing positive things and having positive role models, and I've done what I can with the tools that I have to try and pass that message onto the kids."
Over the years, Maduro has seen the evolution of flag football in the territory, going from one of the more mainstream sports in the schools to now barely hanging on to his JV league.
"Flag football has changed," he said. "I don't think it's diminished, but I think what's happened here in the territory, due to a lack of resources, parental involvement and the educational system actually promoting flag football, is that there have definitely been some changes. For example, there used to be both junior varsity and varsity flag football, so that if you're 15 years old and didn't make it into JV, you could wait until the next year and go to varsity. But over the past 15 years, we were at a point where there was no tackle football, now there's only flag football for the junior varsity and tackle football for the varsity."
But Maduro still has plans for the future of flag football in the territory: He wants to hold a Christmas tournament for junior varsity and varsity students, along with students returning from college during winter break. If this works out, Maduro also has set his sights on possible restarting the men's flag football league, which used to be popular in the summertime.
But his latest idea is an ambitious one. Maduro would like to bring the same Pop Warner, or pee-wee, league played on the mainland to the territory.
"This kind of thing has been proposed for years, and right now there's a group of us that are trying to get it off the ground," he said. "One of the pitfalls we've had so far is insurance. When you're talking about kids going out in helmets and shoulder pads just like the big guys, there are liability issues, and we're taking that very seriously. So far, we've been able to make contacts with some groups in the States about helping us, sponsoring us and getting us the other help we need to push it forward."
The end results will be worth the effort, Maduro said.
"The benefits, I think, about starting football so young is that it groups these kids who want to move up to the through school to the tackle football level," he said. "And it gives them a sense of union, because you've got kids coming from all different areas and nationalities, and they all have to work together. When you do that, those kind of lessons, learning how to depend and trust one another, moves from the football field to the school work, to the community, and everybody benefits."
The end goal is to show the students they can be productive, Maduro said: "We always say the kids are our future, but I think we need to put our foot forward and not just say it any more. We have to show it."
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.