Grant County Youth Football League opens practice, needs players

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By Paul Gable

For a decade, Allen and Tricia Burkhart have played vital roles in the formation of the North Central Kentucky Youth Fooltball League and the Grant County Youth Football League.

With practices underway, this season promises to be no different as the husband-wife duo are enjoying the early practices with the hopes of putting a competitive league on the field.

"Our main goal is to teach these young players the fundamentals and basics of football. We want them to love the sport and continue playing through high school," Tricia said.

Tricia said the league, which serves as a feeder program for Grant County Middle School, has seen its changes, including the formation of several new teams.

"With this being the beginning stage, it takes a lot of time and patience which makes it hard for a coach to accomplish his job if he has too many players on his team. By splitting the teams, the players are able to learn a lot more and receive more playing time," Tricia said.

In addition to increased teams, the board has also seen increased spots and board members.

"We had to add more board positions due to growth. This is great because it takes a lot of hard work to get things accomplished and with the new addition of board members, it will help ease the load," Tricia said.

Currently, the league is on the practice field, and despite several teams missing players according to Tricia. Practices have been held at the old baseball field next to the Grant County Board of Education office.

"Although we are grateful to have a place to practice, we desperately need our own facility. We have six football teams and five cheerleading squads all holding practice there," Tricia said.

Of the six teams, several are composed of first-year players.

"We have so many new players, it is awesome," she said.

However, the league is in dire need of several third and fourth graders.

"Other than that, we ask for community support. We are an independent organization and run completely by volunteers," Tricia said.

The Burkhart's major goal this season is to field successful teams and have the players enjoy their experience.

"We have a great set of coaches out there and we know they will not only teach our players a high level of respect and discipline, but also the game of football," Tricia said.

On Saturday, Aug. 23, the league will hold its annual jamboree. The first game is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and the format will feature a winner's and loser's bracket, allowing all teams to play at least two games.

"We hold the kick-off jamboree every year as a fundraiser and a way for the coaches to see what adjustments they need to make before the season starts," Tricia said.