Valley Parks and Recreation extending deadlines for youth football

Published 3:38 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2023

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Valley Parks and Recreation has extended the deadline to sign up for youth football to this Friday. 

“The reason is our numbers are a little down,” the incoming Athletics Director Brett Tyson said. “Just trying to get more numbers and just trying to give kids more of an opportunity to sign up, hopefully.” 

Tyson hopes to have the leagues grow in participation to improve the competition. The goal is to have 12-15 players on each team in each league. That way, kids do not have to play on both sides of the ball and are not wearing themselves out as much. 

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Currently, the league is set to have 2-3 flag football teams. The 7-8 and 9-10 age groups for football are set to have three teams each as of now. The 11-12 age group is having the most struggles with participation. 

“That’s what we’re looking at a lot, and you’re going to run into problems with that just because a lot of them are in junior high,” Tyson said. “They start playing football for the schools, and I totally understand that.”  

With extended deadlines, the Parks and Recreation Department hopes to get the word out to parents who may have just forgotten about the deadline earlier this week. 

“I’d love to see a lot more,” Tyson said. “We’d love to have 10 or 15 more sign up, and that’s any league. We can make things work in different leagues and move stuff around where we have to.” 

Tyson believes that signing your kid up for youth sports will only help them when they get to the high school level. 

“As you’re going through, you’re going to learn different skills,” Tyson said. “At different ages, you’re gonna have different levels of movement and skills. It fine tunes it. As you move up in age, you’re able to learn more and have more knowledge.” 

Even at the youth level, the repetitions matter. Kids learn how to run routes for the first time in youth football. Learning at a young age will help a child to know what position they can play later on. 

Just going into this upcoming season, several high school players have had to switch positions based on team needs. The transition is made much easier with them playing different positions in the youth leagues. 

“That’s the goal with any sport,” Tyson said. “It’s just to help the kids learn more about the sport. You just want to hopefully keep their interest and want them to work hard to learn the sport even more and have a good time doing it.”