SHEPHERDSVILLE - In 2011, the Greater Bullitt County Youth Football League is looking for a good season, just not a hot one...at least not in terms of heat.
Deciding to start the season on the earliest date ever, Aug. 6 (a day earlier than last year), the league is well aware of the heat and humidity that that can sock it to the Ohio Valley in August.
So, for the second year, league president Joe Downs and his officers have developed an Emergency Heat Schedule that will kick into action if weather reports on Thursday indicate oppressive heat for the weekend. With the revised schedule, no games would be played between 1 and 7:30 p.m. Action on those weekend dates would start as early as 7 a.m.
The heat schedule was used for the first time last season. A few seasons ago, a weekend of games was postponed, forcing the end of the season to be played in November.
“It looks like the heat schedule will be used,” Downs said late last week as he worked to prepare the concession stand for the first weekend of games starting on Saturday. “I’ll make a decision by 6 p.m. on Thursday nights from reports by the National Weather Service and the local TV stations. I’ll take two or three and make my decision. Everybody is ready for it.”
The league actually works backwards in forming its schedule. Downs wants all activities concluded by Thanksgiving. With the All-Star games as well as the cheer and dance competitions coming after the championship weekends, as well as taking the week off at Labor Day, the league needs to start in early August to have enough weeks to get it all done.
“Last year opening day was great and then it got hot,” Downs remembered. “I think we used it twice last year. It’s good to have.”
Downs’ state of the league interview had both good news and bad news in terms of the teams for this season.
The good news is that for the first time in three years, that Lebanon Junction will field an ‘A’ team. Conversely, Brooks was not able to get enough players to have an ‘A’ squad. So, the Little Bullitts, PeeWee and ‘B’ leagues will each have nine teams competing while there will be eight teams at the ‘A’ level.
Besides the week off for Labor Day, each team in the three youngest division will also have a ‘bye’ week. There will be two bye weeks for the ‘A’ teams.
Overall, Downs reported that the league’s total number of players, cheerleaders and dance team members was constant at around 1,700.
One change this year is that one program changed its name. The ‘old’ Shepherdsville Raiders, who were once the Roby Raiders, are now the Shepherdsville Titans.
Downs also commented on a number of other issues/changes for this season:
One big change this year is that the league has turned over operation of the concession stand to the nine league programs to help them with fund-raising.
In the past, the league paid employees to work the concession stand. Now, the program with the ‘bye’ week will be working the concession stand. The program will receive the money to use for expenses.
Downs noted that fund-raising has become a bigger problem for the teams in the league in the present economy. This will help out that situation to some degree as each program will make about $1,000.
In addition, the league will now provide a free drink to each team member after every game. There will be a designated line at the concession stand where team members will go after their game for a free sports drink, water or soft drink.
Rebuilt Little Field
The league spent a good deal of the summer rebuilding the smaller field used for the Little Bullitts and PeeWee games after the facility was flooded during the spring rains.
Downs had his doubts if the field would be ready and thought that perhaps sod would have to be put down. But a good stretch of weather allowed the new grass to come in and the field will be ready for play this week.
In addition, league officers hope to get lights up for the field during the first few weeks of the season. The league has the old lights from Bullitt Central’s football field, but has not had the ability to install them in the past few years. It was thought that a deal has been worked out with LG&E to get the lights up and the league has qualified volunteers to do the wiring.
The little field doesn’t really need the lights for regular season play, but those lights could be helpful in the future for a revamped heat schedule and could also be used for all-star practices in November.
In addition, new fencing was put up on each side of the bigger field.
Officiating Remains Same
Downs said that the officiating for the league this year will not change from a year ago. That means that local officials will be used for the Little Bullitts and PeeWee leagues while officials from the Kentucky Football Officials Association will work the games of the two older leagues.
The GBCYFL is still hoping to develop officials from the younger leagues and have them take over all games at some point. It is a long process. Director of Officiating Ron Washburn did say that at least three officials developed at the younger level have joined high school associations so progress is being made.
“We want to have our own officiating staff,” Washburn noted. “You never know when the KFOA will drop us (which has happened to some other leagues). We have to be prepared. We try to make it very hospitable for the officials that do come down here so they will want to come back.”
The GBCYFL is in the process of combining the two flagpoles into one central location between the two fields. The new flagpole will be dedicated to Danny Allen, a league official who passed away in the off-season.
On Saturday, there will be a moment of silence before the first game for Allen. The present flagpole will then be dedicated to him and that will transfer to the new flagpole when it is completed.
Same Ticket Prices
Downs did say that ticket prices will remain the same for this season. That is $3 for adults each day with tickets for students and senior citizens at $1. Season passes will be sold during the first two weekends at the same prices as a year ago.
While the top three league officers have not changed this season, the league does have a number of new officers.
The officers for the 2011 season are: President, Joe Downs; Vice-President, Joe Sohm; Secretary, Tammy Richmond; Treasurer, Terry Williams; Sergeant-at-Arms, Jeremy Wilson; Financial Secretary, Frank Walls; Program Director, Sheri Dattilo; Football Coordinator, Allen Downing; Cheerleading Coordinator, Amanda Collins; Dance Team Coordinator, Dara Huff; Supervisor of Officials, Ron Washburn.
Great Bullitt County Youth Football League Important 2011 Dates:
August 6-7 - Opening Weekend
September 3-4 - Labor Day Weekend (no games played)
October 8-9 - Last weekend of the regular season
October 15-16 - Play-offs begin
Oct. 29 - Championship Saturday
November 5 - All-Star Saturday
November 13 - Cheer and Dance Championships at Bullitt East
Games will start at 9 a.m. on Saturdays and at 1 p.m. on Sundays with all games played on the fields located at the old Shepherdsville High School n Joe B. Hall Avenue in Shepherdsville.
Admission each day will be $3 for adults and $1 each for students and senior citizens. Season passes for both individuals and families will be for sale during the first two weekends of the season at $65 for a family of four or $30 for an individual. There will also be a senior citizen pass for $10.
Once again this season, the Pioneer News will run youth football league results each Wednesday.