Youth football league gearing up for the season

Youth football league gearing up for the season
July 11
17:07 2018

The Youth Character Football League (YCFL), based out of Union Baptist Church, is heading into its 10th year this summer.  For the past two months, the league has been holding their spring workouts, preparing for the rigors of the upcoming season.

Over the years, the YCFL has established itself as one of the premiere youth football leagues in the area.  Last year, it had three different teams in their organization make it to the championship game of their respective league.

Tom Brown, YCFL director, says he wants the same level of success this upcoming season, as they expect excellence on all levels of the program. 

“Basically, the spring training is just conditioning, getting the kids in shape and getting them to form friendships and bond with the coaches,” said Brown.  “For those kids and coaches that have participated, I feel good about what I have seen.” 

“I would have loved to see more participation from our returning players, but I understand some are interested in other sports so we will see them the first of August.”

When the season kicks off in early August, Brown says he will gather all the coaches and players together to do a re- evaluation of last season in order to improve on and off the field.

YCFL is also focused on maintaining scholars in the classroom.  The players have to maintain good grades in order to play while also completing academic tasks throughout the season.  The players will also participate in the Skip Prosser Literacy Program, based out of Wake Forest University.

“I inquired into that program, and I wanted to see if we could participate as an organization, and we have been accepted into that,” Brown said.  “I’m going to use one hour a week to have student athletes from Wake come over to read to our students to see if we can improve their reading and academic progress in general.

“The kids will also be required to read 25 books from the start of the season until January,” he continued.  “We have a person on staff that will monitor that because we want all of our athletes to excel.”

Brown has a saying: “You can run all the touchdowns, score all the baskets, but at the end of the day, if it does not lead you out of Winston-Salem, you simply become a hometown hero.”  Brown says he tells the kids that to motivate them to look beyond the city while also thinking about their futures.

Brown will be taking over as the 12 and under head coach for YCFL.  He says he wants the kids to be committed to the program, exhibit toughness, give 100 percent effort and be a disciplined unit. 

Right now the 12 and under coaches are looking for more kids to join the team.  Brown stated he is looking for players who are committed in the classroom as well as on the field.  For the month of July YCFL is only charging $100 to sign up.

For more information on the YCFL, contact Tom Brown at (336) 423-9510 or for the playoffs.

In total, 12 teams are participating in the summer league, but only 10 will make the playoffs.  Steve Nivens, league commissioner, says the competition level is higher than ever.

“The summer league is going well and we have a new team that is bringing a nice following every game, he said.  “The crowd and the competition level have picked up each week.”

Team Truth walked away with the championship during the spring league.  According to Nivens, they are looking like one of the best teams this summer as well. 

“Team Truth is looking good, but they are still looking like one of the teams to beat,” said Nivens.  “It’s funny because they lost a couple of players from the spring league and those players started their own team, which is undefeated right now.”

Nivens says the reason for the hightened competition level is that many of the top players playing in the summer league were either in college or playing overseas in the spring.  Now that many of them are home, it seems that every team, even the new ones, are stacked with quality ball players.

“These new teams are matching up really well and some of the new teams are knocking out some of the veteran squads that have played in the league a few times,” he said.  “To be honest one of the veteran teams have not won a game all season.

“No one knew what to expect from these new teams, but now they know, so they need to up the ante when they come back next spring and summer.  People want those bragging rights, and it’s getting closer to the vision that I had for the league in the future,” Nivens said.

Nivens says he really feels any of the 10 teams participating in the playoffs has a chance to win it all. 

“They all have a chance to win, I think, but if I had to put any money on it, I think I would roll with Good Vibes because it seems they have what it takes and they are undefeated,” Nivens said.

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