Westlake youth football reorganizes

Westlake youth can play flag football through the Rec Department or join a new tackle league.

The football field in Westlake is changing. Do you have a child who is interested in playing football, either tackle or flag? Then this news article is for you.

First and foremost, things have changed over the past year concerning the youth football programs in Westlake. The old Junior All-Star Football League has wrapped up after more than 40 years of service to the city of Westlake. In its place, the new Westlake Youth Football Association has been created.

The Westlake Youth Football Association will serve as the place to go for all third- through sixth-graders who live in or go to school in the city of Westlake and want to play tackle football. These players will be broken up into two divisions. The third-graders will play with the fourth-graders while the fifth- and sixth-graders form the other division. Both of these tackle divisions will now play in the Little SWC. While Westlake will practice in Westlake, their talents will shine all over the Southwestern Conference, just like their big brothers at the high school on Friday nights.

Part of the new Westlake Youth Football Association’s model and plan is to team up with USA Football. All of the coaches will have concussion recognition certification and will have gone through some specialized training from USA Football. The teams created by the new WYFA will be equal in size and level of competition. This is a must as the Little SWC bylaws ensure all teams from all cities practice fair and fun football. Registration is ongoing at the WYFA website: www.westlakeyouthfootball.org.

Maybe tackling is not your cup of tea. Flag football returns to Westlake through the Westlake Recreation Department. The third- and fourth-grade flag teams will practice in Westlake, but will play all their games at a central field in North Olmsted against teams from North Olmsted, Fairview Park and Bay Village. The rules and field size are the same as the first- and second-graders who have played in Westlake before. The first- and second-grade teams will both practice and play their games in Westlake at the Recreation Center fields. As always, one game will be under the lights at Clague Park.

Volunteer coaches are needed for all teams and you can register to coach when you register your child to play. Registration for the flag football teams will run through the Westlake Recreation Department. More information will be available on the Rec Department's website and in the Rec Gazette. As always, please remember that all of these teams, tackle and flag, are open to all boys and girls who want to play football.

Finally, for those pre-kindergarteners ages 4-6, you are not to be left out. Coach Jim is back with his Pass N Catch classes on Saturday mornings. Children will learn a new skill each week while reviewing the old ones on a week-to-week basis. Each child will receive a jersey and small football. This is a parent/child class with coach Jim leading the way. Classes run for 45 minutes for five Saturdays in a row.

More information regarding all of these programs and more can be found at our website at www.cityofwestlake.org/recreation/index.aspx or by stopping by the Recreation Center at 28955 Hilliard Blvd., calling us at 440-808-5700 or by picking up our new Rec Gazette.

Jim Dispirito

Athletic/Events Manager Westlake Recreation Department

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Volume 6, Issue 15, Posted 9:43 AM, 07.22.2014