Washington Youth Football joins new league

Published 4:51 pm Monday, June 10, 2024

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Washington Daily News

The Washington Youth Football League (WYFL) has joined the East Carolina Youth Football League to keep youth football alive in Washington.

Washington chose to join the league after no teams remained except for them and the Greenville Titans. After Williamston decided to part ways with the Community Football League, along with Bath, Belhaven, and Chocowinity not having enough players to field teams, Washington was forced to look elsewhere.

“We were left no other option but to find a new league to play in if we wanted to keep playing,” league vice president Billy Respess said.

After exploring numerous options, the teams decided to join the East Carolina Youth Football League (ECYFL) on a one-year probationary period, which will provide even more opportunities for athletes to showcase their talent.

The ECYFL has eight other teams which will play in two divisions (north and south). Teams in the league consist of the Newport Vikings, Pitt Lightning, Southwest Stallions (based in Jacksonville), West Craven Eagles, Carteret Onslow Falcons, Craven Jaguars (based in New Bern), the Greenville Titans, and the Havelock Rams.

Teams will play eight games, four division and four non-division in a season before they play a league playoff. Upon winning the league playoffs, the winning team will be qualified for the state playoffs. If the team wins the state playoffs, they have a chance to play at the national level.

WYFL President Quisha Boyd believes this is a step up for the league. “This will help the young athletes play high school and college ball,” Boyd said. “Their football experience starts with us and playing better competition will help their skills develop faster. It’s an extra reward to maybe play for a state championship and then go on to the national level. We’ve never had that before, so it will be extra motivation for the kids.”

Washington will have three teams of three different age groups, 8U, 10U, and 12U (ages based on July 31 of this year). They will also be eliminating flag football for 6U as the league plays tackle for that age and the WYFL did not want to for safety reasons. All ages will play at the same location every weekend.

Washington youth football is still in a non-profit, recreational league (not AAU). They will host their first fundraiser on June 22 at City Market (620 N Market St.) at 11 a.m. They will have a Food & Bake sale selling hot dogs, fried fish sandwiches, desserts, snow cones, and snacks.

Registration is now open for $125, and children will need a North Carolina ID and a sports physical to play. To obtain a North Carolina ID, all you need is a social security card, birth certificate, and a progress report.
The team will also accept players from around Beaufort County. The season is tentatively scheduled to start the weekend of September 21 and wrap up around Thanksgiving. Respess said the Super Bowl will remain for each age group.

“I hear guys bantering back and forth about that in our locker room frequently, so I think the league has been great for our program,” Washington coach Matt Taylor said. “It allows kids to love the game at a young age and most of our current players have been part of that program.”