By Mike May
The Western Communities Football League has been providing quality sports programs to residents of the Wellington area since 1992. Youngsters ages 4 to 15 play football and participate in a cheerleading program at the football fields at Village Park in Wellington.
Because of COVID-19, it was all quiet last fall on the gridirons at Village Park, but now tackle football and cheerleading are back, and athletic life on Village Park’s football fields is returning to normal.
Whether it’s tackle football or cheerleading, the WCFL’s goal is to teach each participant about the importance of teamwork, good sportsmanship, self-esteem and trust while promoting healthy minds and healthy bodies, making friends, demonstrating self-control and learning to follow directions while having fun.
According to WCFL President KC Jones, the mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of football for players, coaches, cheerleaders and parents.
There are five tackle football age divisions within the WCFL. The youngest group is Ultimate, which is for ages 5 to 7. The per person weight limit is 85.9 pounds. The next group is Prep, which is for ages 8 and 9, with a per person weight limit of 110.9 pounds. The third group is Varsity, which is for ages 11 and 12, with a per person weight limit of 125.9 pounds. The fourth group is Pro, which is for ages 12 and 13, with a per person weight limit of 145.9 pounds, but participants can play while weighing as much as 165 pounds. The oldest age group is High School Prep, which is for ages 14 and 15. There is no weight limit in that division.
WCFL practices are always held on the Village Park football fields. To get involved, the per person registration cost is $299.99.
In addition to being assigned to a team, each football player is provided a game and practice jersey, game pants with integrated pads, socks and a video of all the games.
Safety is a top priority for the league. The WCFL is a certified USA Football Heads Up league. USA Football is the national governing body for amateur American football. USA Football has worked with leaders in both medicine and sport across the country to create a full-featured program that any league or school can use to address key safety issues and ensure that every coach understands and knows how to implement each component of the program.
Last spring, the league offered a girls flag football program for the first time.
All football and cheerleading coaches undergo a background check before taking the field with a team or a squad. Coaches, WCFL board members and team parents are all volunteers.
When it comes to cheerleading, the WCFL is focused on participation. The program promotes healthy minds and healthy bodies, making friends, demonstrating self-control, learning to follow directions and, most importantly, to have fun. Regardless of age and ability, the WCFL has a cheer squad for everyone.
The WCFL cheer program does not hold tryouts; space on the squads is on a first-come, first-served basis, and is limited by the number of volunteer coaches. Cheerleaders are taught the fundamentals of cheerleading and some advanced skills. All levels of experience are welcome, from beginner to elite. The program allows youngsters to meet new people, make new friends, gain self-confidence and increase their self-esteem in a friendly environment.
Visit www.wcflfootball.com to learn more about the Western Communities Football League.