Jacksonville Youth Football president focusing on safety for upcoming season

By Ryne Turke on March 5, 2016 at 8:52am

The Jacksonville Area Youth Football League is taking measures to provide the best experience possible for players on and off the field.

JAYFL President Mike Chappell tells WLDS/WEAI News the USA Football Heads Up Football guidelines will be enforced this season.

“There is some cost associated with it. It is a process of getting the coaches and athletes trained. You have to get the coaches, parents and athletes to buy in. We can them implement the whole process.”

Heads Up Football requires seven primary elements: coaching education, concussion recognition and response, equipment fitting, heads up blocking and tackling, heat and hydration, player safety coaching and sudden cardiac arrest recognition.

“Last season we required all of our head coaches to be trained. We offered training to all our assistant coaches. This year it is a requirement that if a coach is at a game or practice they have to go through the USA Football training.”

Chappell says the online course received great reviews on coaching techniques and the mental preparation to mentor young athletes.

Chappell says injuries haven’t been a problem in the past,but these new polices will help keep players safe.

According to Chappell, 90 players, ranging from 4th-8th grade, have already signed up to play this season. Chappell feels the numbers are improving because of the partnership between the JAYFL and Jacksonville High School football coach Mark Grounds.