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Outgoing leader hailed for youth program
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Phil Bourque prepares trophies for the annual Lanier Bowl on Saturday at West Forsyth High. Bourque is retiring after nine years as commissioner and 20 with the youth football organization. - photo by Autumn Vetter
Four-foot tall football players in miniature pads celebrated with smiles or shed tears of disappointment as the season ended Saturday in an 18-15 game.The players may be small, but the Lanier Bowl is as big to them as Super Bowl Sunday.The annual championship for the Forsyth County Youth Football Association also means a lot for families. They may rent limousines for postgame player parties, paint car windows like they’re headed to a college tailgate or wear a jersey with their child’s name on the back.The trophies handed to each player glimmered as parents’ cameras went off, but the hand that passed them out stayed out of the frame.Phil Bourque likes it that way.For 20 years, including the last nine as league commissioner, the Forsyth County man has worked behind the scenes of the youth football and cheerleading programs.But soon Bourque will step down as commissioner, turning the position over to the county parks and recreation athletic division manager. The league, which has grown tremendously since his start, will be reorganized.“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and loved it.