Marietta youth league joins Cobb rivals
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
July 19, 2014 12:33 AM | 2902 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Marietta Youth Football League is the only program in Georgia that offers flag, padded flag and tackle football, as well as cheerleading, for elementary-age students.

Instituted by Marietta High School coach Scott Burton in 2011, one year after he took the reins of the Blue Devils’ varsity program, the MYFL began play as a member of the Northwest Georgia Youth Football League.

A desire among coaches, parents and fans has prompted the organization to leave for the Cobb Football League, beginning this season.

“This decision to join the Cobb league came after last season,” said Collis Clark, the MYFL’s assistant athletic director for tackle football. “This is our fourth year of existence, and the Cobb league is more in line with what we’re doing with our teams.”

The aim in creating the youth football league was to establish a feeder program for the high school team. While playing in the previous league provided experience for the players, many of those teams were youth groups not affiliated with specific high schools.

The member programs of the Cobb league all have ties to their respective high schools, serving as feeder programs.

“The Cobb league schools are true feeder programs, just like us,” Clark said. “It wasn’t around when we started, but it has grown since and better fits the mold we’ve established with our program.

“What we like about our program is how it helps to build these young kids into being Blue Devils their entire life. They get those colors on at a young age and it’s what they know all the way through high school. I’m sure that’s the message the other Cobb league schools have for their programs.”

It’s taken a couple of years for Marietta to join the Cobb league because it already had guarantees to the Northwest Georgia league.

“The Cobb league is only in its second or third year of existence,” Clark said. “We were already committed to the Northwest Georgia league, and it was too late for us to pull out at that time when the Cobb league started. We’re able to do that now.”

The Cobb Football League includes Allatoona, Harrison, Kell, McEachern, Pope, Sprayberry, Walton and Wheeler, as well as East Paulding and North Paulding.

“That’s another thing we like about the league,” Clark said. “Our kids get to start those rivalries early with the kids from Harrison and McEachern. They get to start playing against those kids as fifth-graders and kindergarteners, and it keeps going up the pipeline right into high school.

“The kids, parents and coaches around our league are talking about the move. We’re excited to go up against those rivals.”

Uniforms and equipment is scheduled to be distributed next week, with practices slated to begin the week of July 28.

The tackle youth program jamboree, hosted by Harrison and Kell, is set for Aug. 16. The league’s opening weekend is Sept. 6, and the first week of the playoffs are Nov. 8.

The league championship is Nov. 22.
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