Windham Youth Football and Cheerleading season nearly underway
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Tue., Aug. 16, 2011
Drivers heading across the Frog Bridge on Aug. 13 couldn’t help but notice a group of young men dressed in football jerseys, holding up helmets, passing out cards and waving to passers-by. It was 2011 Tag Day, an event designed to draw attention to Windham Youth Football and Cheerleading. The boys were handing out tags (business cards) with the organization’s logo, website address and other information. At the same time, they collected donations from those who were willing and able to give.
“We run our whole program, basically, on donations,” said Paul Johnson, a senior travel team coach who was supervising some of the players.
According to the organization’s website, “Windham Youth Football and Cheerleading (WYFC) Inc. is a non profit 503(c), all volunteer organization.” Established in 1957, WYFC serves boys and girls ages 6 to 14 from Windham, Mansfield, Columbia, Lebanon, Chaplin, Hampton and Scotland. “All of our operating funds are raised from registration fees, concession stand sales, fundraisers, Town of Windham grants, and other grants which vary each year,” according to the site.
“We just spent $9,000 on the cheerleading program alone,” said Johnson. New helmets, which the program hopes to provide, will cost in the vicinity of $3,000. “It takes a lot to run the program,” said Johnson.
The league, part of the Southern New England Youth Football Conference, includes four teams for ages 6 through 9. There are three different travel teams - micro, junior and senior - broken up by age and weight. There are four different classifications for cheerleading. In 2010, the junior team captured the SNEYFC championship.
The first games for the travel teams are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 28, against Norwich. Games are held at Guild Field, 33 Hayden St., in Willimantic. Micros begin at 10 a.m., juniors at 12 p.m., seniors at 2 p.m.
Opening day for the internal teams is Sept. 10.
The mission of Windham Youth Football and Cheerleading, Inc. is “to use football and cheerleading to teach children the values of teamwork, good sportsmanship, and fair play,” according to its by-laws. For more information, see the website at http://www.windhamyfc.org.