By Hunter Nusz

Since 2017, the Seaford Elite youth football program has given the town’s youngsters an opportunity to learn and play the game of football. In 2017 there was one team that played an abbreviated season, in 2024 the program is entering its eighth season and has four total teams. 

“A lot of people didn’t believe what we were doing, you’d be surprised how many people didn’t believe, but now they do,” said Seaford Elite Founder Shawn Williams. Williams founded the program after the Parks and Rec league stopped offering youth football, so that kids could still have the opportunity to play. 

Seaford Elite youth football program founder and coach Shawn Williams watches his players work on conditioning drills. Photo by Hunter Nusz

“We’ve sent some kids to the high school, and it’ll be more and more every year. I really enjoy what I do, it takes time away from your family, it takes time away from your kids, but I enjoy it. We started this with nothing, luckily our friends and our family donated and made it work,” said Williams. 

Seaford Elite play other youth teams around the state from places like Salisbury, Easton, Woodbridge, Cape, Lower Sussex, Laurel and multiple teams from northern Delaware. 

Williams was involved in football most of his life. Williams played high school football at Colonel Richardson in Federalsburg and played a little semi-pro football. Williams coached at Colonel Richardson for five years along with coaching at both Seaford High School and Seaford Middle School. 

Williams reflected on his time playing football and talked about how it drives him when coaching, “To get out of football what I got out of football. My team wasn’t that good, but I really enjoyed playing football, it was fun. It helped my self-esteem playing football. It was a place I could go and let loose, nobody bothered me I just did what the coach said, and it was a lot of fun. I want them to possibly go to high school and play football if that’s what they want to do.”

On Saturday, June 22, Williams did a fundraiser via a 33-mile walk from Seaford to Rehoboth. As a practice run Williams did a 15-mile walk going from Denton to Easton which he completed in five hours. In 2020 Williams started offering football for free, so the fundraisers are important events for the program. 

“It’s hard to believe that we’ve come this far. People don’t know how much work it is, we take kids to Florida every year for all-stars. I’ve driven these kids to Florida more times than I’ve driven my own kids to Florida,” said Williams. 

Williams credited his Vice President Marlene Rodriquez with helping run the program. “Me and Miss Marlene, without her I couldn’t do it,” said Williams. 

Seaford Elite play their home games at the Jays Nest fields. This coming season there are four Seaford Elite teams: 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U.