With 270 football players ages 5-13 involved with 12 football teams competing in the Mid-Maryland Youth Football and Cheer League, and 96 girls in the cheerleading program, the Catonsville Stars Football and Cheerleading program is shining this fall.

Catonsville's 7-9 age group team and its 11-13 team are both undefeated in the American Division of the MMYFCL as are its 11-13 and 6-8 teams in the league's Federal Division, according to Joe Stevens, one of the program chairmen.

"Last year, our 7-9 American Division won the Super Bowl, capping off a perfect season," Stevens said. "We are expecting that same team repeat from last year. We also expect to have more teams compete in the playoffs this year."

The league is a competitive one, with teams from Baltimore, Howard, Carroll, Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

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Parents and volunteers devote and dedicate countless hours to make the "Stars Nation" experience an amazing one.

This year, for the first time in 10 years, the Catonsville Stars Football Program and the Cheerleading Program joined together for a bull and oyster fundraiser that raised more than $4,000 for football equipment and cheerleading mats.

Bryan Wynn, president of Catonsville Youth Football, and Jaclyn Lilly, president of Catonsville Cheerleading, were both pleased with the success.

Sponsors included Peace of Pizza, State Farm Insurance/Tom Corbitt, Keel's Auto Body Works, Brightview Assisted Living, EC Roofing & Home Services, A&S Electrical Services and C.P.S. Properties.

This year's special Homecoming event featuring 11 teams is Friday, Oct. 14, and Saturday, Oct. 15.

The first game is Friday at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, games start at 8:30 a.m. The last game starts at 8:30 p.m.

Come cheer the Stars on!

For information, go to http://www.catonsvillestars.org

In other football news, longtime Catonsville resident Tim Russell and his family enjoyed their third annual road trip to root on the Ravens.

Russell and his three children, Katie, Timmy and Anna, his girlfriend, Betsy Wendell, and her son, William, traveled to St. Louis for the Ravens game, stayed at the team hotel and had a great time cheering on the Ravens to a 37-7 win Sep. 25.

Two years ago, the group enjoyed the Ravens' 31-26 win at San Diego. Last year, they witnessed the visitors' 17-14 victory in Pittsburgh.

"It's a nice diversion to get out of town every fall to see the Ravens play an away game," said Russell, who owns Realty Landscape.

The travelers brought back memories of more than seeing Ravens rookie wide received Torrey Smith score touchdowns on each of the first three receptions of his pro career.

"Going up to the top of the Arch was so cool," said daughter Anna on her journey through the 630-foot Gateway Arch, the nation's tallest monument, according to the arch website.

"So was seeing a game inside a dome," said the sixth-grader at St. Mark School on her experience in the 66,000-seat Edward Jones Dome, which is only a short distance from the arch.

Anna also had a long conversation with her favorite player, kickerBilly Cundiff.