Elementary students gain confidence with youth football program

Fourth grader Creighton Keeling runs with the ball during football practice. This is the third year this program has been around.

Madisen Paulson

Elementary students learn the fundamentals of playing football at an earlier age opposed to waiting until middle school.

The David City Youth Football program was started three years ago when David City High School Assistant Principal Chad Fuller wanted to help build and sustain a football program beginning in the elementary school. There are four teams incorporated into the program: first and second graders have one team, third and fourth graders have two teams, and fifth and sixth graders have one team.

Many of the parents of the students help with coaching the teams. They volunteer to help when the signups take place at the Wahoo park in the early part of July.

“My favorite part about this program is giving the kids opportunities to grow in the sport,” Elementary Principal Ernie Valentine said. “Starting a youth program is key to giving kids opportunities to learn the skills of the sport. We wanted them to have these skills so they had the confidence to go out in junior high and continue in high school.”

The first and second grade teams use their coach as a quarterback, while the third through sixth graders play quarterback and are able to punt the ball. The fifth and sixth graders get a jersey for their teams that represents an NFL team.

“My favorite part was winning every game and being with my friends,” second grader Colton Letts said.

Registration for the program begins in the spring, and the season lasts about eight weeks. The point of having a youth program is so that younger kids will be able to learn some of the fundamental skills of football like catching, throwing, blocking, and learning basic plays.

“The youth program offers children the chance to improve in a very popular sport,” youth coach T.J. Busch said. “It disciplines the younger kids so they will realize that hard work takes time to improve and get better.”  

The teams played their last game on Sat., Oct. 14 in Wahoo.