Now is the time for players entering grades three through six, coaches, referees and volunteers to get in on this fall's Scappoose Youth Football.
Registration, open through July 1 though signing up by June 15 is preferred, is available online, and players are not officially signed up until the $225 fee -- $175 to sign up and $50 for a pair of discount cards that can be sold for $25 each -- is paid in full with online registration and medical release forms completed.
"I do believe the future of our program is bright," Scappoose Youth Football president Cory Zonich said. "There are more and more people willing to participate and help. ... We've had more great coaches step up and show they are willing to commit time to our youth."
Scappoose Youth Football is a non-profit, though it hires its referees and pays school districts for field use.
"There's always somewhere that we can use help: Painting the field, with video and with concessions," said Mitch Neilson, Scappoose School District's business manager whose sons, Brandon and Matthew, are back as respective fifth- and third-grade players. "We've been complimented many times on the officiating, and people like coming here because the officiating is so good for their kids."
Third-and-fourth-graders are especially welcome to help fill roster spots.
"Kids get to learn the Scappoose system in third grade," Neilson said. "On Friday nights, they'll recognize [varsity] plays: 'That's Iron Man, that's Key One, that's Key Two. The kids see themselves as part of the Scappoose football family and look at high school kids as their heroes. At practice they emulate their favorites, and at high school games they can watch their position and see what to do."
Practices limit contact and report injuries in partnership with the Tualatin Valley Youth Football League, and all 40 teams in that league, as far east as Sandy and as southward as Salem, follow USA Football protocol.
Scappoose received a $1,500 grant from the national program and used it for new shoulder pads, chin straps and uniforms.
"[The kids] have a big sense of pride when these kids are wearing their jerseys with pride to Petersen and Grant Watts," Neilson said. "We've consistently had one third-and-fourth-grade team and one fifth-and-sixth-grade team that feed into the middle schools."
Seventh- and eighth-grade football participation runs through middle school registration.
Medical release forms, available on the registration page, must be signed by anyone licensed or approved to perform physicals by the State of Oregon and dated after Feb. 1 of this year, and can be mailed to:
Scappoose Youth Football
PO Box 176
Scappoose, OR 97056.
Refunds are available only prior to equipment issue and before registration is complete.
Scappoose Youth Football prioritizes acceptance by registration and payment date and appointment of no more than 30 and no fewer than 17 roster spots, according to Tualatin Valley Youth Football League rules.
Practices are scheduled to begin Aug. 7, a jamboree is set for Aug. 26 and the season starts Sept. 9.
For aspiring coaches, Scappoose High School varsity coach Sean McNabb will begin clinics soon.
An EForce Football clinic for boys eight to 14 years old, with a suggested donation of $15 and from which each participant receives a t-shirt, is also set for 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Sunday with check-in and a subsequent pizza feed at Hare Field in Hillsboro.
"The kids' experience today is truly focused on safe and fun techniques, and what we are trying to achieve is a real passion for the game while having a lot of fun," Zonich said. "Watching my son grow up through the program, I have seen his love for the game grow. He has had hard days and great days in football. The youth football programs teach our kids sportsmanship, competitiveness, hardwork, and teamwork. Helping our kids find the joy in all of that is very rewarding."