Belpre Youth Football seeking growth

Belpre Youth Football players, left to right, Braden Green, Willis Starcher, and Thomas Green, pose for a photo at the Belpre High School practice field Tuesday. Photo by Ron Johnston.

BELPRE — Tessi Davis enjoys a challenge, whether it’s in the Toughman Contest ring or as a first-year Belpre Youth Football co-commisioner.

Last year, the former Parkersburg Big Red was a Toughman champion twice in the women’s light-heavyweight division, once in Parkersburg and the other time in Elkins. So, right now, her focus has been on the gridiron, especially with two young football players, 8-year-old Jaiden Oakley and 6-year-old Bryce Davis, in tow.

“We just started conditioning at the Belpre High School practice field,” Tessi Davis said. “And, we’ll be there every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.”

Tracy Wilson, whose 9-year-old son Evan is a player, is also a Belpre Youth Football commish.

Practices are slated to kick off in earnest July 31. The first game is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 27, and the season concludes with title games in November.

Also in the Mid-Ohio Valley League, which is affiliated with the national group USA Football, are Tri-C, Godbey, the Ramblers of North Parkersburg, and Vienna.

Each team is scheduled to play eight games, four at home and four on the road.

There are three teams in the Belpre Youth Football league, an A, B, and C squad. Those teams will be coached by George Rasmussen, Darren Legleitner, and Anthony Miller, respectively.

The A team will be featuring the 11 and 12-year-olds; B is 9 and 10; and C is 8-and-under.

Right now, the numbers look good so far for the C team, about 23. But the A and B teams are still looking to fill out its rosters. All school-age children are invited to participate.

“Every kid deserves to play,” Davis said. “No one will be turned away.

“We realize that some parents are worried and have safety concerns. They don’t want their child to get hurt. But football is safer now than it’s ever been.”

Davis paused.

“I think part of the problem in the past with most injuries, kids were coached improper techniques in tackling and wore ill-fitted helmets and equipment. That’s how concussions can occur.”

Davis said the league would be providing to prospective players just about everything, including fitted helmets, shoulder pads, named jerseys, mouthguards, etc.

Everything, but cleats.

“Football is a great way to develop structure and for working together,” Davis said.

More information on Belpre Youth Football can be obtained by phoning Wilson at 740/297-0678. People can also go to Facebook.