|Blackman community starts youth football league
|Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 5:19 am
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|The Blackman community hopes to blaze a new trail on the local youth football scene by starting a new league.
Starting this fall, the brand new Blackman Youth Football Association will begin its first season of youth football and cheerleading. Sign-ups currently being held.
“The children and the parents in the Blackman community had to drive at least 20 minutes (one way) to play in organized youth football and cheerleading,” BYFA Vice-President James Yates said. “A need existed in our community and we found a way to meet that need.”
According a league press release, the games will kick-off in late August and will be played at Blackman High and practices will be held at the other Blackman schools.
The football league is open for players between the ages of 5-12, and the cheerleaders 5-14.
The cost is $90 for football and $125 for cheerleading. The football fee includes helmet, pad integrated game pants and a game jersey, and the cheerleading fee includes the uniform.
Yates hopes this new league will benefit the Blackman community as a whole.
“It will be a tremendous time and gas saver on school nights since they do not have to drive so far,” Yates said. “Kids, who otherwise would not play, now have football and cheer so close to home that it is manageable for parents. In the long haul, it will build players for participation in the Middle and High Schools. Hopefully, we will reach some homes of single mothers whose boys need a fatherly presence and our coaches will provide a strong, positive male influence for them.”
The league will break up into four divisions depending on age (A’s, B’s, C’s and Pee-Wee’s).
The cheerleaders can cheer for any team they wish. There will also be a weight limit on ball runners.
Another idea that the new league wants to stress is the safety measures that the league will put in to protect its players from injury, especially ones to the head.
“We wanted to reduce concerns about injury, so we have two hitting days and one helmet only day,” Yates said. “This should be a huge item for parents and players. To my knowledge, we are the only youth league around that will be playing games on a high school game field. In our coaches, we will instill the need to put the kids first above adult egos. Our coaches will be certified with NAYS and USA Football, so we will be well-trained and knowledgeable about youth coaching.”
As for preventing head injuries, the BYFA has a plan in place to limit the contact between the players.
“One day less hitting with a weekly emphasis on technique rather than a “lower your head and go” type of coaching attitude, and we also are providing new Schutt helmets that have the latest padding technology for extra protection. Injury prevention is at the forefront of our minds.”
Sign-ups are currently online, or you can head to Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Avenue. For more information on the BYFA, go to BlackmanYouthFootballAssociation.com.