Registration is open for the GYFL 2019 season.
GYFL, a non profit youth football organization for boys and girls in grades 3 through 8, has three divisions. The Bantam League is for 8- and 9-year old’s. Juniors are 10-11. Seniors start at age 12.
The league has over 90 volunteer coaches who offer lessons in sportsmanship, and players enjoy the sense of camaraderie and source of lifelong friendships.
The league is unique in that players don’t have to leave town for their games. The league holds its games at Greenwich High School on Sundays.
The GYFL provides a structured, safe and secure environment. League president James Loughran said GYFL is now a modified football league.
“The GYFL has modified from traditional football leagues with certain rule changes and policies including: 9 man football at the Bantam level, no live special team plays, weight restrictions by positions, all teams make the playoffs and regulated practices to minimize contact and emphasis skill development,” Loughran said.
GYFL has changed their practices, technique and the game itself in response to concerns about concussions.
As longtime youth football enthusiast and Mavericks coach Dr. Russell Warren put it, “There are plenty of people and media outlets passionate about criticizing youth tackle football. We’re passionate about promoting it.”
The season opens on Aug 19, 2019. The last game of the season, championship day, is Nov 10, 2019. (Columbus Day weekend is a bye weekend with no games.)
The league was established over 50 years ago and has many traditions including the annual “Senior Bowl” where 8th graders who play in the league are divided into two teams and play an additional game.
The players also attend the annual GYCL cheer Expo at Greenwich High School.
The league serves as a pipeline for high school football players and the Cardinals players and coaches find ways to include the GYFL players in events and clinics. Cardinals coach John Marinelli has particularly embraced GYFL, making several visits to their practices and holding clinics for the coaches.
On Sunday, May 19, at the Boys & Girls Club (4 Horseneck Lane) there will be a free youth clinic led by High School players and staff, with a Parent Symposium educating new parents about the GYFL.
Then, at 5:00pm there will be a ring ceremony for the State Champs.
Coach Marinelli said he is looking forward to the Ring Ceremony and Youth Clinic.
“We felt the support from our town was so overwhelming that we wanted to give back in some way,” Marinelli said. “As a ‘Community Program’ giving back to the community and celebrating our success with everyone is what our kids wanted to do, and I’m a proud coach to hear that our boys wanted to do this as their way of saying thank you to Greenwich.”
“Greenwich Cardinals are born here.” – GYFL