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sandersCarl Sanders was a son, husband, father and dedicated Pop Warner leader. Carl was the middle child of Floyd & Grace Sanders. Carl's older brother Floyd and younger sister, Juliann, complete the family. After graduating from Griffith High School in 1966, Carl joined the Navy. Following his stint in the Navy, Carl retuned to Griffith to follow in his fathers footsteps and become a union pipefitter and member of LU 597 for more than 25-years. Carl married "Rosie" on November 3rd, 1973. Their family grew to include a daughter, Carrie and son, Eric.

Carl's time with Pop Warner began with the formation of South Haven Pop Warner which later became Portage Pop Warner. Carl held many positions in his 20+ years of Pop Warner from: Assistant coach, Coach, Equipment Manager, Fundraising Chairman all with Portage Pop Warner and later Carl was elected Vice-President and then to the position of Commissioner within the Lake / Porter Pop Warner Conference which later became Northern Indiana Pop Warner Little Scholars. It was during his tenure with the HLA that Carl promoted many of the principles seen in today's Pop Warner organizations. Carl was a strong proponent of youth football but was instrumental in the growth of cheerleading in Northern Indiana. Carl was responsible for creating the HLA cheer board-of-directors. Carl was relentless in promoting different football divisions, based on criteria he developed. The current National Divisions 1 & 2 are the direct result of his efforts. Carl authored many of the rule changes currently incorporated in the current rule books.

Unfortunately Carl wasn't able to see some of the changes he promoted. Carl succumbed to cancer on August 9th, 1999 at the age of 51. Since that year all Championship Trophies given by Northern Indiana Pop Warner are dedicated to the memory of Carl. The "Carl Sanders Memorial Trophy" is a fitting tribute to a man who loved life and helped shape Pop Warner from the local leagues all the way to the top-of-the-house, National Pop Warner. Many children have benefited from Carl's vision of Pop Warner and will continue to benefit for years-to-come.

 

brennanTom Brennan was a dedicated son, husband, father, and Pop Warner leader. Tom was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 24 th , 1947 to Edward and Frances Brennan. He had one sister Kathleen. Tom's family moved to Chicago when Tom was very young and then a few years later moved to Hammond. Tom attended Hammond schools prior to enlisting in the Army during the Vietnam War. He completed his High School education and received his GED while in the Army. Tom was also a recipient of a Purple Heart for wounds sustained during action in Vietnam. After his stint in the Army, Tom met Pat Giordano. Tom and Pat were married on June 24 th , 1972. Their family soon grew to include two sons, Ed and Joe. They moved a couple of times before settling in Portage in 1977.

Tom worked for Inland Steel for more than 27 years. While working and raising a family, he found time to attend college at Purdue University Calumet, where he received a hard earned bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1982. After retiring from Inland Steel, he went on to work for Kop-Flex for 7 years as a sales engineer. Tom was also an avid outdoorsman and spent many hours enjoying his love for the outdoors with his sons.

As full as Tom's life was as husband, father, employee and student, he somehow found time (and energy) to serve as a volunteer coach and administrator for youth sports programs in the Portage area. Tom began his coaching career as a baseball coach with Portage Little League. He then went on to Pop Warner, where he spent more than 20+ years as a volunteer leader. He began as an assistant coach, then equipment manager, and ultimately became President of Portage Pop Warner, where he served with distinction for 14 years. Later Tom assisted the Lake/Porter Pop Warner Conference (which later became Northern Indiana Pop Warner Little Scholars) as their Insurance Coordinator for many years.

Unfortunately Tom succumbed to cancer on July 6 th , 2004 at the age of 56. Since that year a "Presidents Award" has been given by Northern Indiana Pop Warner to the Association President who most exemplifies the dedication Tom had during his many years as President of Portage Pop Warner. Thousands of children from the Portage area benefited from Tom's dedication and leadership. His passing was a great loss for all who knew him, but his spirit lives on.

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