HUNTINGTON — The Tri-State Youth Football League is reconfiguring its schedule in the wake of a trio of programs opting out of the 2020 season.
Douglass-Cammack, Ona-Milton and Vinson have canceled their seasons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Administrators for all three programs announced the cancellations via social media.
TSYFL Commissioner Kevin Watts said he understands each team’s approach to the season.
“There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the current state of the COVID-19 virus and its effect on youth sports,” Watts said. “TSYFL has always maintained that when the time came, each league would be best judge of their ability to operate in the current environment. To that end, some leagues decided that it would be best if they did not compete this season and TSYFL supports that decision 100 percent.”
Watts said D-C, Ona-Milton and Vinson will not be penalized for opting out.
The TSYFL is left with five teams — Buffalo, Ceredo-Kenova, Huntington, Lawrence County and St. Albans.
“For the leagues that have decided to continue on and play, we will have a season and we are still working out the details on that,” Watts said.
Practice for the remaining teams has been pushed to Aug. 17.
“(I)t is with great sadness that we announce that we will not be having tackle football/cheer/dance teams this fall with Tri-State Youth Football League,” was reported in a post on the Vinson YFL Facebook page. “We are working on some alternatives to be able to get kids out of the house exercising and having fun.”
The page’s administrator advised those who want to play football that they may participate in one of the five remaining programs, then return to Vinson in 2021.
Ona-Milton’s administrator wrote that canceling was a difficult decision because, in part, enough players had registered to field four teams.
“Obviously the safety of all involved in our league is 1st and foremost and we believe we could comply with safety guidelines as set out by various health boards,” the administrator wrote. “However other leagues have indicated they intend to take a more cavalier approach which could put our league at unnecessarily increased risk.”
Ona-Milton’s administrator also wrote that the possibility of the TSYFL shutting down three weeks into the season is “highly probable.”
The DC Express administrator wrote that the TSYFL is expected to play a shortened season.
“... but because of all the restrictions, guidelines and shorten season DC Express will not participate,” the administrator wrote. “We feel that the safety of the kids is more important at this time.”