Families living in south Burnet County made their way to First Baptist Church of Marble Falls June 11 to get their children fitted for another season of Marble Falls Youth Football and Cheer. After parents and grandparents checked in, they either went to the right to get their daughters and granddaughters fitted for cheerleading or kept walking forward with their star football player to get fitted for helmets, shoulder pads, jerseys and pants.
The players’ reward for the fitting? Playing a game of touch football with association president Nicholas Wood serving as the quarterback. Onlookers couldn’t tell who enjoyed the events more — the athletes playing football, the association members who were helping the athletes with their equipment, or Wood who grinned throughout the morning as he took in the activity from one wall to the other.
Wood is in his first year as president after serving on the board for a couple of years and as a coach for many years. He clearly loves the association’s purpose of helping athletes learn the basics of 11-man football and teaching the concepts of Marble Falls head coach Brian Herman’s slot-T offense.
“We want the kids to sign back up because they start to learn and love the game,” he said. “We try to instill the high school system. The kids can learn it and progress through the knowledge of the slot-T. They’ll be better in high school and start to win more often if they know the system year after year.”
Marble Falls Youth Football and Cheer is for children in grades Kindergarten through six. The goal is to have between 20-25 players on each team.
“We’ll be right at 100 players,” Wood said.
The association plays in the Hill Country Youth League that includes similar youth associations in Boerne, Burnet, Copperas Cove, Fredericksburg, Lake Travis, Lampasas, Liberty Hill and Smithson Valley.
The end of July will be an especially busy time for the association, the president said.
“We’ll send our rosters to the league office,” Wood said. “We’ll have our first practice July 25. We’ll have our schedule Aug. 1. We’ll have our first scrimmage Aug. 20. Our first game is Aug. 27. Championships games are Nov. 5. Then we’ll head to Cowboy (AT&T) Stadium to play in the Red Zone Nov. 13.”
The Red Zone puts teams the 20-yard line on each end for a contest.
“It’s 15 minutes of playing time,” Wood said. “(My son) Charlie got to run in a touchdown. That was huge.”
Wood was equally enthusiastic about the cheer squad, noting it averages about 40 athletes.
The association enjoyed a successful flag football season in the spring, Wood said, adding it had 135 players and 80 cheerleaders.
Thanks to the Beau Henderson Foundation, the association purchased a big inflatable tunnel to allow athletes to run onto the field at the beginning of each half.
“That makes it more fun,” Wood said. “We want to be part of the community. The community recognizes these kids are the future.”
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