Fundamentals in defense and offense are the primary goal of the youth football program. The kids also learn sportsmanship. This photo by Tracy Williams is from one of last year's games against a Wenatchee team.
ChelanValley seeking youth football players
By Richard Uhlhorn
Dennis Rahm talks with Brian Hendricks & Randy Gleasman
For approximately 30 years, there has been a youth football league in North Central Washington. Last year, the Lake ChelanValley joined the league and enjoyed teaching the fundamentals of full contact football to about 55 young players from the ages of 8-12. “We anticipate up to 60 kids this year,” said Brian Hendricks who, along with Randy Gleasman, run the Lake ChelanValley program.
Signups for the Chelan/Manson team is going on right now. Participants have to be at least eight years old before November 1. A sign-up sheet is attached below or you can call either Brian Hendricks (682-3358) or Randy Gleasman (687-4007) with questions.
The cost is $80 before June 30 and $90 after June 30. Cost for each additional sibling is only $40. Scholarships will be available for those who are unable to pay the fee. “We don’t want to leave anyone out,” said Gleasman.
The money helps pay for referees, insurance, field usage and other support costs. “We spent about $100 a kid last year purchasing pads, uniforms and helmets,” said Hendricks. The Chelan Rotary Club was a huge support last year. “We are very safety conscious,” said Gleasman.
This is just the second year for this youth football program in the ChelanValley. It is a full pads contact sport with practice beginning on August 18 and continuing until the end of October. Practices will be held at the Community Field with times to be announced.
A Chelan player runs the ball against Wenatchee as a game last year.
Games will be played on Saturdays following Labor Day with some traveling required throughout the North Central Washington region. “Four more teams have signed up this year,” said Hendricks. Tonasket, Omak, Okanogan and LakeRoosevelt will be added to the schedule this year. “We will have almost the entire Caribou Trail League involved and Waterville, East Wenatchee and Wenatchee.”
The Youth Football League is a developmental league for young players. Hendricks and Gleasman expect to have up to four teams in the Lake ChelanValley this year. The eight and nine year olds play together and the 11 and 12 year olds play together. The 10 year olds play up or down depending on each individuals ability. “We want this to be a good experience for our kids,” said Gleasman.
The football schedule will be set when the teams know how many are involved throughout the region. “We are not sure, but may have to split the league between the north and south,” said Hendricks.
At this point, the NCW League includes East Wenatchee, Wenatchee, Chelan/Manson, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Waterville, Brewster, Tonasket, Omak, Okanogan and LakeRoosevelt.
Chelan’s Football Coach Darren Talley and his staff will be putting on mini camps for the Chelan group on Aug 12 ( offensive day ) and August 13 ( defensive day ). “Last year it was about 2 1/2 hours in the evening. I am not sure what he has planned for this year.” Hendricks reported.