Q. Are requests for specific coaches, teams, practice schedules, or game times accepted?
No, but we will do our best to accommodate carpooling requests if it makes sense. However, our main goal is to split the talent up equally. Also, we will do our best to keep siblings and cousins together on one team. Thanks for your understanding.
Q. What will be my child's team game schedule be this year?
The season consists of 6 games. All games will be held on Saturday’s beginning the first Saturday after Labor Day and ending 6 weeks after that date. Your team's opponent, game location, and game time, is scheduled by the league (WMYFB) and is a set schedule for the first four games with the remaining two games based on strength of schedule (or in other words, based on each team's win/loss record for the first 4 games). The first four games will be available late August and the last 2 games will be available prior to the start of Game 5.
Game times will vary, but as a rule the game times will be 9:00, 10:30, 12:00 or 1:30.
Games could be played at South Christian, or at one of the other WMJFL League locations (Allendale, Byron Center, Dorr, Fennville, Grand Rapids Boys & Girls Club, Grand Rapids Christian, Hamilton, Holland, Holland Christian, Kelloggsville, Lee, NorthPointe Christian, Saugatuck, TNT, Unity Christian, Wayland, West Ottawa, Wyoming and Zeeland).
Q. How many of my child's games will be played at South Christian?
Each team will play 3 home and 3 road games.
Q. Where will our home games be played?
We are still working out the details. Most likely we will be playing our 2019 games behind the new high school on the varsity practice field. The new high schools address is 7979 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Byron Center, MI 49315
Q. Where will practices be held?
We do not have this worked out yet.
Q. Is the South Christian Youth Program affiliated with or run by the high school?
The program is run with the cooperation of South Christian but is in no way affiliated with the high school. The program is a part of the WMJFL (West Michigan Junior Football League) and run solely by volunteers.
Q. How are players assigned to a team?
Teams are constructed through a controlled draft process. Each coach can reserve 5 kids. The 5 reserved kids include his son and any assistant coaches’ sons. We will then take the remaining athletes and based on evaluations, weight, and playing experience, we do our best to evenly distribute the kids with the goal to balance the teams as much as possible.
Q. What does the practice schedule look like?
Practices will begin August 12. The first week practice will be Monday – Thursday (3 non-contact/ non-padded practices and we’ll end the week in pads that Thursday). We’ll be in full pads the remainder of the season. The week of the 19th we’ll practice Monday – Thursday. The week of the 26th we’ll practice Monday – Wednesday. When we come back after Labor Day, our regular schedule will typically be Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 -7:30, for the next 6 weeks.
Q. Isn’t it a little extreme for kids of this age to have 11 practices in 3 weeks?
Completely understand the question. But if you’ve ever coached at this level, you’d understand why this is necessary. The 34’s are either in their first year of tackle football or possibly their 2nd. Most of these kids don’t know how to properly snap a ball, get into a 3-point stance, line up as a receiver, etc. On top of teaching the absolute basics for the first time, we are attempting to evaluate talent – to split teams evenly but also to get kids into what we believe their position(s) to be for the year. Then equally as important, we must learn plays. We have exactly 8 practices before our first scrimmage. This is a pretty intense two weeks, but the kids handle it very well.
A lot of what was stated above is true for 56’ers. A lot of new players begin in 5th grade, but we also think it’s worth pointing out that the majority of the kids end their football season in the fall and don’t pick up a ball again until the season starts back up in August. So, we spend a fair amount of time reminding them early in the season what we taught the year before. Then, at the 56’er level we add special teams (kickoffs & punts) along with coaches calling plays from the sidelines and not having a coach on the field. These are big adjustments and take time to teach. The 56’ers will also have their first scrimmage after 8 practices.
Q. Are there Weight Limits?
The weight restrictions listed below are the maximum weight limit for skilled positions for each division.
Maximum Weight - Ball Carrier
3rd/4th Grade 115 pounds
5th/6th Grade 140 pounds
Any player at or exceeding the ball carrier weight maximums above will not be allowed to carry the ball. These players are restricted to playing on the offensive or defensive lines.
Q. What Equipment is Needed?
Each player must provide his/her own helmet (must be a white helmet), game and practice pants/pads, game and practice jersey, shoulder pads, football cleats (metal or screw in cleats are not permitted), and mouth guard. Jerseys and Pants can be purchased through Sporting U.
Q. Are There Any Rules Concerning Playing Time?
League rules concerning playing time are very clear. The WMJFL rule is "Every player must play a minimum of 8 plays in each half of every game. Failure to comply with this rule shall result in a one game suspension of the head coach. Exception: The coach does not have to comply with this rule if the player is not making all the practices.” We insist that our coaches follow the letter and spirit of the rule.
If you any concerns or questions about your child's playing time, please discuss it immediately with your coach. And if your concerns are not addressed, feel free to contact one of the program directors.
Q. What are the rules (if any) concerning Position Assignments?
For a coach, assigning positions is one of the hardest things to do. We know that all children can't be a running back or a quarterback. The important thing to remember is that there are a variety of positions and each one is just as important as the next.
Each coach is different, and their process will vary, but normally most of the 1st week or two of practice is spent evaluating each child and trying to match each child to the position that the coach feels is best suited to his skill level and how his or her skill level compares to the rest of the team. As a parent/fan, please be open-minded regarding your coach’s recommendation and support your child & coach regardless of what position they play.