|The first Monday Night Football for the 2011 season starts Sept. 12, not only for the NFL, but also for the Murfreesboro Football League.
According to Gary Arbit and Thomas Laird from Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department, 20 teams with 355 participants will take part in the 2011 season. That is a 40 percent increase from last season, according the league.
“Everybody is very excited about the upcoming season,” Arbit said. “Everyone will get the fever if they have not already.”
The games will be played Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays during the season. The MFL is divided up into a junior, minor and senior division, and with the age groups ranging from 7 to 13.
The games will take place at the old soccer complex, located at the Murfreesboro Airport. The games will be played mostly under the same rules as high school with a few changes.
The size of the field is 80 yards instead of 100, the teams will play four eight minute quarters instead of 12, and no live punting in two of the age groups, 7-8 and 9-10.
For most of the players, this will give them the first chance to play under an actual game format, instead of what they are used to in recess with only one quarterback and the rest of them playing receiver.
“We want our coaches to teach the basics, blocking, running, proper tackling, and so on,” Arbit said. “Most teams do start with a quarterback, running backs and receivers but they realize very quickly it is important to have a good line. We as administrators try to divide each team evenly with players in all different sizes so the coaches can fill all of the needs with the exception of the senior division, they draft their own teams.”
For some of the players, this will be a starting point into their football career, which might last into middle school, high school, or even beyond. The officials hope this league will help those that want them further their football career.
“We stress the basics of the game and all of our coaches go through USA football coaches certification,” Arbit said. “We want the kids to be ready when they leave us to play middle school and high school football.”
Each team will also have a group of cheerleaders, which will try to rally the players to the end zone.
The MFL just wants the kids to learn the game and have fun doing it.
“I think the parents are confident in the city’s athletic department to provide a safe, fun, competitive environment where athletes learn and develop good fundamentals,” Laird said. “We have selected an excellent group of coaches that have passed background screenings and completed mandatory coaches training. This season will prove to be a great football season and we look forward to the first night of action.”