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Prescott, AZ YMCA Youth Football Providing Summer Fun

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The James Family Prescott YMCA’s 18th Annual Youth Flag Football League season is almost here. The League for boys and girls, ages 6-15 will kick off June 1st and run through the middle of July.

Did you know that James Naismith, the “Father of Basketball,” is said to have invented the football helmet to protect his damaged ears while playing football for the YMCA International Training College in 1891?

Professional football began at a YMCA. In 1895, in Latrobe, PA, John Brailer was paid $10 plus expenses by the local YMCA to replace the injured quarterback on their team. Years later, however, Pudge Heffelfinger claimed that he was secretly paid to play for the Allegheny Athletic Association in 1892. The NFL elected to go with Pudge’s version of events.

The games of Touch and Flag Football have been around nearly as long as tackle football. The first remembrance of these types of games is “Touch and Tail” Football, which was played in the 1930s. Flag football, as we know it today, was developed on military bases in the early 1940s as a recreational sport for military personnel. After World War II, recreational leagues soon developed.

Jaime DeJoseph, YMCA Sports Director says, “We believe that kids are still being impacted greatly by COVID-19 which is why we are thrilled to be able to offer our 2021 Youth Flag Football League. In a time where a lot of kid’s normalcy was flipped upside down, we are so happy to be able to get kids active and playing sports again. They can continue building those positive relationships that lead to good sportsmanship and teamwork, participating in activities at the Y is about building the whole child, from the inside out.”

Image by Prescott YMCA.

The YMCA Youth Flag Football League exists for the youth of the community, providing them with the opportunity to experience and develop football skills. The primary objective of the YMCA is to develop people, not professional athletes. Volunteer coaches are dedicated to developing youth and will emphasize the values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. The league consists of 3 coed age divisions: 6-8, 9-11, and 12-15. “Our League provides a safe and fun environment where kids are able to learn the foundations of football from people who care about them,” said Jaime DeJoeseph, Sports director. “This year to create more parity among the Coed 9-11 & Coed 12-15, we will be running skills evaluations ahead of the season. The coaches will then draft those teams following the evaluations. This is not a tryout, it is just an evaluation so that the coaches can see the skill levels of each player. Every kid will make a team.”

The James Family Prescott YMCA would like to thank the following people for helping make a difference in the lives of the youth in the community. Individual team sponsors, volunteer coaches, Portrati Park by J, Prescot Unified School District, and City of Prescott. The league couldn’t run without all of its amazing partners and volunteers. To volunteer, sponsor a team or for more information, please feel free to contact Jaime DeJoseph at jaime.dejoseph@prescottymca.org or 928-445-7221 x 233.

About James Family Prescott YMCA
The James Family Prescott YMCA is a community within a community serving our diverse population in the quad-city area. As a leading nonprofit organization, the YMCA exists to strengthen the foundation of the community. The YMCA has served the local communities in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and Dewey/Humboldt since 1974; offering over 60 health, wellness, and community programs within the four-building facility.

The YMCA is dedicated to providing affordable programs and services to benefit people of all incomes and backgrounds. Thanks to the generous support of those who donate to the Y’s Annual Campaign and other fundraising events, financial assistance is available to those who cannot afford the full fee and qualify for assistance.

The YMCA aims to provide each member with every opportunity to reach farther and improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility, the YMCA’s goal is to inspire positive and lasting social change. For more information visit www.prescottymca.org.

About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women, and children – regardless of age, income, or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net


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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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