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Updated Football Plans for the 2020 Season

Last night, the Jr Wolfpack Football Board of Directors met and made a decision to modify the football experience for the 2020 season due to player (and family) safety concerns surrounding COVID-19.  We have made the difficult decision to not offer traditional 11 on 11 tackle football this year. However, we recognize the importance of structured athletic activity for our youth during this pandemic and are developing plans for an in-house competitive NFL Flag football league with “camp” style football skill development. 

Every single board member had a strong desire to keep our traditional offering intact, but the desire to protect your child and our community was even stronger.  In a traditional season, we ask coaches to get certified through USA Football, develop practice plans, find creative ways to remove contact from practices through the use of training aids and field equipment, organize their team, implement playbooks, fix equipment, and to make sure kids are acclimated to the heat while trying to keep the kids attention during a practice or game.  If we were to continue with our traditional format during this pandemic, we would have the same expectations, but in addition we would demand season long safety compliance that would require contact tracing, daily temperature readings, wearing masks when possible, sanitizing hands, sanitizing field equipment after every use, and monitoring kids for symptoms of the virus in a sport that requires significant levels of close contact for a sustained period of time. 

Furthermore, the Metro East Youth Football League sent out a survey to its 14 members over the weekend.  As of last night, only 2 of the 12 programs that had responded have decided to play full 11 on 11 traditional football without restrictions.  Most are simply choosing to cancel their seasons while a few are taking a similar approach to Jr Wolfpack Football.  Out of full disclosure, traditional football is being played in some Northern and Western suburbs, though.  Playing in these leagues would bring additional challenges (rule changes, additional travel across the Metro) and require our program to pick and choose who could/could not play (For example, TackleBar is not offered in many of these programs).

We know that this is not what some of you signed up for and that you will have a lot of questions.  As a Board, we will prepare and distribute a FAQ that will address the major issues that these changes bring and we will work hard to get you the information quickly.  

As of right now, here is what you can expect: 

  1. The season will start on Monday, August 24th at 6pm. 
  2. Expect to have 2-3 football related events per week.
  3. We are going to evaluate the cost model and will issue partial refunds accordingly (if you signed up for Flag football you may not receive a refund though as nothing is changing for you).  The cost model is still to be determined.  
  4. We will issue refunds if you decide that you do not want your child to participate.
  5. The season will include competitive Flag games and we will teach/implement schemes, techniques, and skills that will help the players transition to future years of Jr. Wolfpack Football and High School football. 
  6. We will develop safety policies and procedures that we expect our coaches, players, and families to follow. There will be no exception to any safety policies and procedures that we put in place. 
  7. We will make modifications to our registration and late fee process.
  8. We will do everything we can to keep you child safe while providing a great football experience.  We discussed ordering new jerseys for the season that the boys can keep, playing night games, playing on the high school turf, and playing nearby communities (if possible)

 

This is my 10th year as a volunteer in Jr Wolfpack Football.  My youngest child is in his final season of our program and I really, really, wanted to coach him and the boys that I have watched develop and enjoy this great game of football that we all love.  This decision is hard for me.  However, our program is recognized as one of the top programs in the state of Minnesota and we continually have some of the highest participation numbers around.  I am proud that we focus on creating a great experience that kids and parents want to be a part of, and the football community responds every year by signing their kids up for our program and representing our community with pride when we play other communities.  Please trust that our wonderful volunteers will work hard to keep your children safe while providing a fun football experience.  

 

Thank you for your understanding, stay tuned for more details, and GO WOLFPACK!

 

Dan Smoot

President, Jr Wolfpack Football

REGISTER FOR THE 2020 JR WOLFPACK FOOTBALL SEASON

Thank you for your patience as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential impact on Jr Wolfpack Football and youth sports. 

Registration for the 2020 season is now live and we ask that you register early as additional measures will be put in play for this season regarding equipment distribution, practices, and games. 

We are currently planning on the traditional football season as we have grown to love.  You will notice that we are going to start/finish the season a couple of weeks later than in years past as we are trying to accommodate other sports and learn more about the proper way to proceed with football this year. We may have to “call an audible” during the season and that could include a modification of practices, who we play in games, the number of games, and/or even the format of games.  As new information is brought to our attention, our Board of dedicated volunteers will discuss the information is significant detail in order to focus on the safety of our children.  We will rely on recommendations/information from the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health, The City of Cottage Grove, and USA Football.  

There is a non-refundable component to the registration this year of $40.  This is something that we have not done before, but as soon as we make a decision to move forward with the season, our not-for-profit association incurs costs that we cannot avoid including administrative fees, the costs for t-shirts & game socks, Flag jerseys, insurance, and more. 

Finally, it is important that if you still have equipment from last year, that you return it to us ASAP.  We need time to clean, sanitize, and repair the equipment accordingly.  There will be no questions asked, just appreciation for the receipt of the equipment.  We cannot keep costs low when equipment is not returned to us. 

Please follow us on our Facebook page and feel free to post questions.  We have multiple people with access to our Facebook account that can answer your questions.  As always, feel free to call or email me directly, but please understand there may be a delayed response to emailed questions. 

We are looking forward to another great season.  Take care, stay safe, and GO WOLFPACK!

Dan Smoot

Jr Wolfpack Football, President

 


Flag

Grades 1 & 2 and 5th - 8th

TackleBar

Grades 3rd & 4th

Tackle

Grades: 5,6,7, 8th

Financial Assistance

If you have any questions or are unable to play due to financial reasons, please contact Mike Rose at mrrose777@yahoo.com to discuss payment and scholarship options. Please email Mike a copy of your free and reduced lunch letter. You will be contacted back within 5-10 business days.

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