Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Sports

August 4, 2008

Youth football gets a time-out

The exciting runs to gridiron daylight will have to wait for Pauls Valley’s youngsters, at least until city officials decide what direction to take the local youth football teams.

A final word could come Wednesday night as members of the PV City Council are scheduled to take one more look at where local football players 12 years old and under will take the field this fall and beyond.

With time running tight as the next season quickly approaches the council is expected to choose between continuing play in a league north of PV or begin work toward something with a lot more local control.

“Odds are the north is the best way to play games,” said Jamie O’Bryant, chairman of a city recreation board, during a special council meeting earlier this week.

“We could also try to schedule our own games. A third option is to cancel it. At least the first two options we can say we tried. There’s not a great option here.”

A move to make a change in where the youth football teams play came to the forefront in early July when a petition was submitted to the council.

Concerns appeared to namely center on the safety of the players on the 12 and under team after problems surfaced last season because play in the Washita Valley League north of PV sometimes forced local players in the fifth and sixth grades to go against much larger and more physical opponents.

Proponents of a change indicated those problems typically came from a wide gap in the age deadlines used by different area towns to determine player eligibility.

The end result was some opponents were closer to seventh grade age than the younger PV players.

This led to the petition request for the local play to change leagues and go south. It was quickly learned that scenario isn’t a possibility for this fall leaving local officials searching for other options.

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