The North East Ohio Youth Football League is looking to expand its ranks this summer. League officers are hoping to pick up a new team or two.
“Anyone can start a team,” said NEOYFL President Nathaniel Armstrong. “All they need is a field to play on and the ability to hold fundraisers to outfit the team."
Presently, the NEOYFL has nine teams divided into two conferences. The American Conference is made up of the Austintown Little Colts, the Poland Little Bulldogs, the Fighting Little Redmen and the Alliance Aviators. The National Conference contains the Boardman Little Spartans, Canfield Little Cardinals, Austintown Little Falcons, the West Side Little Patriots and the Warren Little Raiders.
The league operates for children ages 6 to 13 in an organized football and cheerleading program. Each team fields three teams based on age and weight. There is a 95-, 115-, and a 130-pound weight limit that helps keep the competition safer for those on the teams.
Games are normally played on Saturdays and Sundays. Practice begins on July 12 with the first regular season game starting the weekend before Labor Day. Following the regular season all the teams are in the playoffs, with a Super Bowl title on the line at the end of eliminations.
“Last year we changed the rules and put all the teams in the playoffs,” Armstrong said.
As for what a team would cost, Armstrong replied, “It takes between $300 to $400 to outfit one player. Helmets alone cost around $70.”
He said teams are started with fundraisers that help provide the cost of the uniforms for both the players and the cheerleading squad. Many have a players fee to help offset the costs. Armstrong said anyone thinking about a new team can call him at 330-519-4090 or call Marcus Williams at 330-788-5810 to learn more about how to get a new team up and running.
Armstrong said they will also consider teams from other leagues that are looking to move into the NEOYFL.
“If you are looking for change or a newly formed team and fancy competing in friendly environment contact us,” said league Treasurer Marie Armstrong.
New teams will only be added through an application process. Applications will be accepted through March 24. Armstrong said those interested wouldn’t have to have the team in place, just the application right now.