McNary Youth Football plans to provide a flag football season this fall for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade (Submitted).
After the OSAA elected to move their fall sports season to March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tualatin Valley Youth Football League (TYFL) made the decision earlier this month to cancel the 2020 football season.
“With the countless reasons we are prevented from starting this season: player health concerns related to COVID-19, insurance and liability concerns, safety equipment and field use issues, inability to have spectators, as well as the ever-changing state and local health guidelines, there are too many unknowns at this time to proceed with planning a fall season,” the league said in a Facebook post.
But even though there won’t be tackle football this fall, McNary Youth Football (MYF) president Kyle Hughes, is working alongside other league presidents in Marion County to provide a flag football season starting next month.
“After meeting with the valley organizations, it became clear that we wanted to move forward with a flag season,” Hughes said. “We were sad that the kids were going to be missing out on their normal season, so we wanted to provide an avenue for them to continue to play the game safely and work on their skills.”
MYF will be offering traditional flag football for kids in kindergarten through second grade, while third through eighth graders will be playing 7-on-7 flag football.
Practices will start on Sept. 14 and games will be played each Saturday from Sept. 26 through Oct. 31. MYF squads will face off against the traditional valley schools — South Salem, North Salem, McKay, West Salem, Sprague — as well as Silverton and Salem Academy.
Registration is now open on the MYF website (www.mcnaryyouthfootball.com) — registration closes on Sept. 4. Cost is $50 per player.
Because 7-on-7 games only include skill position players, MYF will be offering free lineman practices once per week for third through eighth graders.
“It’s sad that a lot of our lineman are missing out, so we wanted to do something for them once per week so they could work on certain drills and improve their technique,” Hughes said.
With the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) rules on masks and social distancing, it’s expected that players and coaches will be required to wear a mask at all times — Hughes says that MYF will be following the latest guidance from OHA.
According to Hughes, the main thing MYF is currently trying to do is reserve field space. They are attempting to use the fields at Blanchet High School and Amity High School.
“We highly doubt that we will be able to use any Salem-Keizer Public School facility because of how strict they are,” Hughes said.
If their plans to use Blanchet and Amity fall through, MYF will then attempt to rent areas at city parks and little league fields.
“We’re looking at all possibilities for finding a field,” Hughes said.