W. Chicago Puts Hopes in Junior Football Officials Hope Youth League Improves High School Play
Boutelle, Tracy, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
The West Chicago Park District hopes to help the high school lift its dismal football record by doing what a town with winning teams does - start kids in organized sports at an earlier age.
West Chicago park officials plan to set up four youth football teams for fall 2001 to play in the Bill George program, a national amateur football league for young players.
"It's very important if they're going to have any chance of competing in the (DuPage Valley Conference)," said Larry Adamczyk, who coordinates athletics for the West Chicago Park District.
While schools in Naperville and Wheaton dominate the conference, West Chicago High School often struggles to merely win football games. Varsity football players last year had their first DuPage Valley Conference win since 1995, and last made it to the playoffs in 1978.
This year, West Chicago finished the season 1-6 in the conference and 2-7 overall.
But having teams on which young boys can play football means the difference between a winning and losing team once those boys reach high school, officials and educators in West Chicago said.
"We are not preparing our kids athletically to compete," said Tony Nevrly, assistant football coach for the Wildcats.
Meanwhile, in Naperville, 9-, 10- and 11-year-old boys square off Saturday and Sunday mornings during the fall football season, honing their throwing, tackling and punting skills. …