40 YEARS OF METRO YOUTH FOOTBALL
1971 - 2010
Pee Wee Football was brought to Cedar Rapids in 1971 by the Cedar Rapids Jaycees. Born in the face of controversy, The Cedar Rapids Gazette and The Des Moines Register reported that children participating in youth football would suffer physical and psychological injury. The Linn County Medical Society and the Cedar Rapids Community School District were opposed to Pee Wee Football and feared inappropriate pressure as seen in Little League baseball.
The Jaycees persisted and founded the league with the original goals of instilling sportsmanship and participation for all regardless of the outcome of the game. In the beginning, there was one weight class and six teams. At 1:30 in the afternoon on September 26, 1971 the first of three games of what would become Metro Youth Football began!
The inaugural games were:
Rams vs. Lions
Lions vs. Chiefs
Packers vs. Bears
Early growth of Pee Wee Football lead to the realization that the organization would need year-round attention to serve the needs of youngsters in the greater metropolitan area. With the blessing of the Cedar Rapids Jaycees, the Metro Youth Football Association was organized in 1974 and the existing equipment was given to MYFA. In addition to the equipment received from the Jaycees, the new organization inherited a bank account with $600 in it and $6,000 in outstanding bills. The late John Pierce became the first treasure and was immediately faced with the daunting task of raising funds to sustain the new organization.
MYFA continued the concept of a League Commissioner whose duties were to enforce the goals and rules of the program. George Justice was the first Commissioner. An Executive Board was established to develop MYFA policies and maintain the integrity of the program. As Metro Football continued to grow the General Board was formed to conduct day to day operations. For many years the Board was comprised of the head coaches of Metro Football.
As Metro Youth Football, the organization has grown from six teams in 1971 to the fifty two teams that are playing this year. Metro Youth Football established an extreme popular flag football program in the spring of 1999. Our flag football program has grown from an initial 300 players in 1999 to 1,200 players last spring.
The Metro Youth Football Scholarship Program was added in 1999 as well when James Franta, a long time MYFA volunteer and middle school teacher, gave $2,500 to establish a scholarship program for MYFA Alumni. The program continues to grow and has, to date, awarded scholarships to fourteen young scholars.
For a number of years MYFA games were played in parks and at local schools. The land that is now the MYFA Sports Complex was donated in 1979. In 2002 a major capital improvement project was completed. Our tired facility was renewed with the installation of an irrigation system, re-crowning and installing new sod on the three football fields, construction of two scoring towers and installing lights on the center field. Lights were installed on the east field during the summer of 2005 and on the west field during the summer of 2009. Pavilions were built by Eagle Scout candidates Eric Edwards and Adam Bertroche in 1999 and 2003 respectively. The twenty-one trees delineate the parking areas from the playing fields were planted by Jory Herman as another Eagle Scout project. Concrete aprons were poured at the entrance to the MYFA Sports Complex and additional gravel roads were added in 2009. MYFA double the size of the Equipment Building in 2006 to satisfy the storage needs of our growing organization and added the current scoreboards that year as well.
MYFA lost a very good friend on February 26, 2009 with the passing of John Pierce. John’s impact on the league dates back to it’s inception in 1971 as one of the founding members. Mere words cannot describe how much he meant to this program and to everyone that has been associated with it. The John Pierce Memorial Patio was built to remember and honor John in 2009 and expanded this year. Sit down and take a moment to remember our dear friend and to see what has been built and accomplished during the past 40 years by all of the MYFA volunteers.
To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Metro Youth Football, players issued a 40 as their jersey number were invited to represent their team in this commemorative team photo. A framed copy of this photograph will be on display in the MYFA Board Room.
Front Row (L to R): Parker Canant, Cameron Shaver, Nick Schumacher, Miguel Jacobo, Miles Burrows, Jaxson Konzen, Cole Werling, CJ Garnett, Peyton Laughridge
Second Row (L to R): Riley Trainor, Max Mondanaro, Kobey Hyatt, Louie Ervin, Hunter Blake, Clint Hill, Spencer Rozek, Jake Swenson
Third Row (L to R): Patrick Chambers, Tyler Childress, Patrick Conway, Terrell Jordan, Ethan Banks, Izaak Lindgren, Kenny Howard, Nate Meister, Joshua Grassmann
Fourth Row (L to R): Hunter Gray, Blake Oshel, Sam Dean, Eli Havlik, Mason Johnson, Jacob Bents, Hunter Shaw, Spencer Heggen, Christopher Mohwinkle, Chayce O’Connor
Top Row (L to R): Austin Mcleod, Zach Youngwirth, Tavin Borseth, Hunter Wamre, Rane Weiland, Dylan Hart, Nathanial Velazquez, Connor Malcolm, Ryan Carfagna
As Metro Football has grown over the years, we have former players who have grown to become fathers who now have children of their own playing Metro Youth Football.
Pictured above are:
First Row (L to R): Rod & Conner Malcolm, Kelly & Chayce O’Connor, Kirk & Caeden Hauskins
Second Row (L to R): Terry & Nathan Meister, Chris & Logan Bowers, Travis & Jeremiah Kasner, Steve & Mclay Lampe, Kasey & Logan Klein, John & John Harris, Mart & Cam Shaver, Chris & Nicholas Schumacher
Third Row (L to RI): Brian & Austin Mcleod, Dean & Reed Zahradnik, Les & Parker Bateman, Paul & James Orr, Joe and Cole Werling, Lynn & Dylan Bevins, AJ & Bob Busch