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Boyle County youth football stays on the front foot

The Boyle County Youth Football League is always looking for ways to improve its product.

This weekend, the BCYFL put on its Rebel Bowl — where a dozen games were played on Saturday and Sunday at Rebel Stadium.

On Saturday, the league also introduced flag football for the first time. Forty-two young athletes signed up to play in the inaugural season.

“The Boyle County community has exceptional pride for its football,” BCYFL President Todd Tiller said. “Our league thrives on the goodwill of Boyle County. Our board includes member representatives from each school-system-based team, including high school head coach Chuck Smith and middle school head coach Tyler Ray. That gives us unbiased equality, fairness and knowledge when deciding on the guidelines of how we operate our league.”

The BCYFL is a feeder into the Boyle County Middle School and Boyle County High School programs, and Tiller said the focus from the start is fundamentals. Coaches from middle and high school will also help the youth league with clinics and other camps.

“Our youth football league is critical to the future success of our high school football program,” Smith said. “Our youth league, led by Todd Tiller and a strong board, is so well organized and structured. They are always looking for ways to advance the league so it is the best in the state.”

The goal, of course, is to prepare the young athletes for success in the future, and the future Rebels have seen that success: Last year, the middle school team made the state final. The high-school varsity won the 3A state title.

“Our motto is ‘state champs to be,’” Tiller said. “We strive to implement qualities for our young ones that will give the advantages they need to be a state champion in years to come. In other words, winning is not our priority at this level. Healthy challenge, fun, building of work ethic and a learning commitment is more important to us at this stage.”

Ray is currently in his fifth season at Boyle County, all with the middle school.

“It makes it easier as a coach when you have a youth program like we do, when you know the players are coming up to the middle school with a solid foundation and knowledge of the fundamentals,” he said. “You don’t have to necessarily teach the fundamentals, even though we practice them every day.

“It gives you a chance to build off the foundation they have and move toward developing better technique and skills in their position.”

Flag football is just another way to prioritize health  and continue to teach those fundamentals that will lead to success down the road.

“The success of both the middle school and high school is a reflection of all the hard work and dedication displayed by our youth program,” Ray said.