HONOR ROLL - METRO YOUTH FOOTBALL
The Metro Youth Football Honor Roll is an elite honor reserved for those persons who have placed the needs and interests of young people at the top of their priority list. Established in 1995, the Honor Roll recognizes those few individuals and organizations who have gone beyond coaching and committee work and whose selfless dedication and contributions have made Metro Youth Football the premier youth sports organization in eastern Iowa.. They are the everyday heroes, who often work without recognition or appreciation, that make MYFA a reality. Inductees' names are inscribed on an elegant walnut plaque that is displayed at all MYFA functions.
Francis and Freddie Northern - Francis & Freddie Northern most notably called ‘Fran’ and “Coach” have been active volunteers for MYFA for more than twenty years. They have been active with the players on field as well as behind the scenes as board members and support staff. Without their valuable contribution to MYFA, game days would not run near as smoothly as they do today.
Freddie first started as an assistant coach with the Cowboys in the then senior division in 1977. Then in 1984 Freddie took over as the head coach of the Cowboys a position which he held for the next 18 years. While coaching, Freddie also served the Metro Youth Football Association by holding numerous board and committee positions. When the league started its seventh grade program, Freddie coached the J-hawks for four seasons before turning his attention to the J-Hawks Sophomore football program. When Freddie was voted into the present position as the Vice President of volunteer coordinator the board, members knew they were really getting two for the price of one. Francis and Freddie always can be found working as a pair supporting the many players and coaches of the MYFA programs.
Francis has never been just the typical stay at home mom. She has always been a willing participant in all of MYFA’s activities. She stepped up her involvement with the concession stand under the wing of the late John Pierce where she can still be found today. Francis continues to run the buses for the top candy sellers each year. She has also been honored for her volunteerism with the Jefferson Booster club in 2010. She is always willing to give her time and effort to better the program.
A Freddie coached team takes the field on the guiding principle of team work & loyalty. Even after twenty-eight years of service, many of the players can still hear Coach’s booming voice across the sideline. For he’s announcing items of interest over the loud speakers in the concession stand with Francis offering her wit and wisdom, along with snacks, to the many players. There are always words of encouragement from both and the desire to see all players give their all to the sport that they love. Freddie believe that commitment and loyalty to team-work comes went a player learns to study the game of football as well as being a good player.
Most recently Upper Iowa University, Division of Student Development honors Freddie Northern for his outstanding work ethic, service & dedication to promoting volunteerism.
"They are truly an inspiration to others!” Tom Mims long supporter of the Northern.
Jerry Huggins - For more than twenty years, Jerry has been a selfless volunteer to the young athletes participating in Metro Youth Football in addition to serving as a mentor and role model to the next generation of coaches and league volunteers. During those 20 years Jerry has served as a coach, board member, Vice-President, President and Executive Board member. As President he oversaw the largest Capital building project in MYFA history. The project included the installation of an irrigation system, re-crowning and sodding of all three fields. It also included the installation of new goal posts and lights on the center field.
Currently Jerry interviews every new coaching applicant and reviews every first year coach in Metro Youth Football. He offers supervision, tips and guidance to these coaches as they undertake the sometimes daunting task of coaching a team of rowdy young football players!
Jerry also sits on the Executive Board, this oversight board assists the board with major policy and safety decisions. Many of the E-Board meetings can involve intense and very passionate discussions; the one voice that is always heard belongs to Jerry. He has a unique ability to unite the board and assist in making a wise and proper decision that is in the best ineptest of Metro Youth Football and the youngsters we serve.
The Honor Roll is characterized as honoring those who have a priority selfless dedication to youth. Jerry Huggins embodies these qualities through his service to Metro Youth Football, even though he has never had a child play in the league. Jerry’s vision, leadership and dedication have helped the league grow into the organization that it is today. We are proud to welcome Jerry to the Honor Roll.
Gary Lovik - holds the distinction of being the first former player to become President of MYFA. In addition, this long-time coach has held many positions within MYFA; most notably he was the league’s Treasurer for more years than he would like to admit. With money and resources in very short supply, Gary fought for fiscal responsibility within the league to insure the future preservation of the program while insuring that the league fees remained low and affordable to all. The budget battles are legendary in the MYFA annals yet despite the often unpopular position he held, the league today is growing and thriving in large, to practices and procedures he developed many years ago. Always willing to lend a hand with any endeavor, Gary was one of a handful of people who devoted their time and talents to MYFA 365-days a year. As a coach and before individual playing time was mandated, he was an ardent believer in player participation and cultivating a team environment that made learning fun. Long before the word became in vogue like it is used today, Gary believed that he was a teacher first and foremost, and that the values and life lessons learned in organized sports, far transcended the final score of any game on Sunday afternoon. .
Myron Rodee - is one of those special people that you just enjoy being around. Always willing to help, Myron held a variety of positions within the league with his most notable contributions coming by way of putting together the League’s Souvenir Program. The task in and of itself does not seem too daunting but the man-hours behind the fund-raising publication are just staggering. As with all MYFA volunteers, Myron was a tireless worker behind the scenes and without fanfare, kudos or even an occasional thank you, he did it for the betterment of the program but more important, to the participants themselves. As a former coach, a Myron Rodee team was always very competitive, very prepared and always had fun. His calm and insightful demeanor not only benefited the boys who lives he help touch and mold, but also extended to the rest of the leagues coaches as Myron became one of the most respected mentors in the program. Though many years later, you can still scan the fields on any given Sunday and readily find some of his influences still apparent.
Roger Gruwell – There is not a position in the league that he has not held nor a young boy’s heart that he hasn’t touched in his long association with MYFA. Most notably, Roger has been the league’s Registrar for many years, was a co-founder of the very successful flag football program and a driving force behind the seventh grade division. As a member of MYFA’s Executive Board, he remains a champion for the boys in the program while insuring that the integrity of the program remains true to it’s original charter. As a coach, Roger has served as a mentor to most of the league’s coaches; many have gone on to coach in the Middle and High School Programs. A tireless contributor, Roger devotes his energies to the program 12 months a year to insure that everyone has a positive and rewarding football experience.
Richard Porter – 2004 will be Rich Porter’s 25th season as an MYFA head coach and member of the board of directors. He has been an active and integral part of the growth and success of Metro Youth Football. He has been a positive role model not only for over 600 players, but for the coaches of MYFA. His love of the game and loyalty to the mission of MYFA has earned him the highest respect from his peers, colleges, and players. He was active in the development of the seventh grade division in 2002, and has seen MYFA nearly triple in participation. Throughout the overwhelming growth of MYFA, Rich has been committed to maintaining the values and ideals Metro Youth Football was founded on, keeping the interest of the players’ top priority.
Earl Harrison - An officer and a coach, Earl's guiding philosophy was the interest of the athletes who played Metro Football. He held fast to the belief that Metro Football was founded as in instructional and recreational league where every child belongs. Earl was a champion of rules that promoted the involvement, safety and well being of every child.
Earl served Metro Youth Football in many capacities over the years that he was involved with MYFA; working in every area from registration to the concession stand.
Bob A'Hearn · Terry Bjornsen · Bob Murray - MYFA remains a healthy and growing part of our community thanks, at least in part, to the vision and generosity of Bob A'Hearn, Terry Bjornsen and Bob Murray.
Terry Bjornsen donated the 27 acres of land that now comprise the MYFA Sports Complex. Bob A'Hearn and Bob Murray donated access to our facility which had previously been land-locked. More recently, Bob A'Hearn poured the concrete street that now provides Metro Football permanent, hard surface access to our facility.
These three gentlemen have long supported youth and family activities in the area. They felt that contributing to the community was a civic duty and they shared an affinity for area youth. When the fledgling Metro Youth Football program needed a place to call home, the 2000 Inductees recognized the need for young people to have a safe place to play football. They shared in a vision to create a youth sports facility dedicated to the children of Eastern Iowa.
MYFA could not exist as it does today without the magnanimous donations of Bob A'Hearn, Terry Bjornsen and Bob Murry. Through their generosity, they not only gave Metro Football the land on which we play, they gave our athletes and our organization a home.
Robert Jones - A past president, officer, coach, fields manager and equipment manager, Bob has done it all. While his contributions to the league cannot be measured, it is most notably the current quality and condition of our equipment that will remain his legacy in our program. Weather it is reminding coaches to check the player's equipment or educating them in its proper fit, Bob has, and remains, uncompromising when it comes to the safety of your children. He is adamant in his drive to secure the best equipment for our youth program. His tireless commitment to this endeavor will still find him on his free days, up in the equipment facility working to ensure that the boys have safe, quality equipment to participate with. Bob has always worked behind the scenes and loathes any personal end-less work for the betterment of MYFA.
Tom Mims - A long-time coach for the Cowboys is a man of wisdom and wit. Tom’s personal knowledge and love of football runs as deep as his commitment to MYFA. Tom wears his affiliation to the program across his chest with pride. Tom is a big believer in the life-lessons that football and teamwork can provide. His style has made him an icon in the MYFA community. He believes in allowing the kids to make some of their own decisions, providing the boys not only leadership skills, but skills necessary in dealing with conflict. He always stresses the importance of team building that allows a boy to make mistakes.
This latitude also encourages the boys to take risks and to accept challenges both on and off the football field. Tom is also one of MYFA’s biggest boosters and promoters. For the last ten years, Tom has promoted the league almost single-handedly through his efforts to secure team sponsors and advertising dollars in our program. He has worked countless hours in promoting our candy sales, the fund-raising arm of MYFA that subsidizes your boy’s registration fee, to insure that the program is affordable to everyone. Thanks Tom for your past and continued dedication to the boys and MYFA. You have been instrumental in molding boys to be leaders of tomorrow by offering them a chance to change.
Randy Rempt - A past President, Officer and long-time coach of MYFA, Randy embodied the spirit and philosophy of the league. You could always tell a “Rempt” coached team by their efforts, actions and sportsmanship. Randy was and remains today, a role model for all MYFA coaches, a yardstick that we use to measure ourselves in our coaching endeavors. Every boy was important and made to feel that way. Randy was also a strong believer in the TEAM concept, that every one despite their individual skills were vital and contributing members. Randy’s teams were about learning the fundamentals of football, and more importantly, having FUN! His character is impeccable and his commitment to the league and to the boys themselves was without reproach. We are proud to welcome Randy Rempt into the MYFA Honor Roll.
Jan Summers - Joe and Jan Summers began their involvement with MYFA slowly, providing their children -- the lifeblood of Metro Football. They entrusted the care and well being of their sons, as you do today, to the volunteers of the MYFA. In the late 1980’s Jan saw the work that was needed to organize and run the concession stand. Jan helped grow, the MYFA concession operation from a run down trailer, to the structure that exists today. The concession stand is an important revenue source for MYFA, keeping the participation fee affordable for all players, and Jan is largely responsible for it’s success. She volunteered then, and is still here today, despite the fact that their middle son, Jerry, and youngest son, Justin, played their last games in 1990! Jan and her husband Joe, made a family commitment to MYFA and it is their hope, that others would find similar fulfillment and satisfaction in the program.
Joe Summers - Joe was a long-time coach and familiar face in the MYFA. Joe was also the second Fields Manager for MYFA. While Jim Carnell developed the land, Joe was responsible for developing many of the structures that exist within the MYFA Sports Complex. For sixteen years, Joe donated much of his time and labor to the league. Joe did the jobs that needed doing and were typically the jobs that no one wanted to do. He erected the west fence line, built the two scoring towers and trenched in the utilities that make this complex work. He arranged for the local trade unions to donate their services that gave us the two- story equipment building and our current concession stand. What Joe could not salvage, scavenge or get donated, he would quietly provide on his own. Joe is a warm, personable man who dedicated himself to MYFA and your children. We have our current facilities because of his hard work and the donations that he secured.
David Hoyt - A past president, officer, coach and MYFA Executive Board member, David has been and still remains, an invaluable resource for all members of the program. Dave’s coaching techniques and his relationships with the boys are legendary in MYFA history. He serves as a continuing role model for all new coaches and their assistants. Dave continues his involvement in Metro Football by serving on the newly established MYFA Scholarship Board. Dave’s organizational and leadership skills are renowned, as the MYFA Board and Committees essentially operate on a Dave Hoyt designed system.. League equipment had always been stored in rented space that was unlighted, damp and crowded. Dave was troubled by the storage conditions, and became the driving force behind the construction of our equipment building. Despite being told by many, that it could not be done and we could never afford it, Dave accomplished the task in months with donated labor and materials discounts. We proudly welcome David Hoyt to the MYFA Honor Roll.
Dick Pohorsky - A long time officer and coach in the league, you may have also heard his voice on opening day reading the over 400 boys and coaches names. Dick, along with the other elite members of the MYFA Honor Roll, gave stability and guidance to a program that faced a long uphill battle in the early years. Dick was instrumental in recruiting many of the coaches and volunteers that still dot the MYFA membership today. Dick’s gifts as a mentor, leader and motivator, brought to a MYFA new level of excellence, all the while insuring the boy’s welfare was always first and foremost on everyone’s mind. Congratulations Dick on your induction in the MYFA Honor Roll.
Cedar Rapids Jaycees - Organized Pee Wee Football, the forerunner of MYFA, in 1971. Their original goal then as now, was to “instill values of sportsmanship and participation over winning. The idea of tackle football for this age group was born in the face of controversy and opposition from the Linn County Medical Society and the Cedar Rapids School system and subsequent media attention. Despite the obstacles, the Jaycees persisted and the original six teams played their first games on September 26, 1971. Recognizing the need for year round attention to the program, the Jaycees gave their blessing and existing equipment to create the Metro Youth Football Association in 1974.
Darrel Berry - An original founding member of the program, Darrel Berry’s dream of tackle football, teamed with his dedication and drive to that ideal, became a reality in 1971. Darrel was a driving force behind the creation of the program and steered the organization through many early obstacles. As past president and current member of the Executive Board, Darrel ensures that the league remains true to its founding principles. The MYFA Sports Complex sits upon land donated to the league back in 1978, facilitated in no small part by Darrel. In the early years when funds were short, Darrel worked to see the boys were properly equipped and the league received everything it needed. Darrel’s favorite phrase, still quoted by coaches and board members alike, serves to remind us why we are here: “Remember, this program is for the boys.”
John Pierce - Another original founding member of the program, John has been around since the league’s inception. A friendly, familiar face to all, John has held many positions within the league and has worn “many hats” over the years. John served as the league’s first treasurer when it’s financial position was precarious at best. While John is an active member of the Executive Board, his best talent is working behind the scenes as an advisor, a respected role model and trusted friend. John is responsible for the MYFA Booster Club, a fund raising partner for MYFA. Without the Booster Club’s continued support, MYFA would not have survived and reached the level of success it enjoys today. Recently John was asked to lend his wisdom and guidance to a new MYFA endeavor when he was invited to serve on the newly established MYFA Scholarship Board. Over time the names and faces of MYFA have changed, John has been, and continues to be, the “glue” that holds MYFA together.
Jim Carnell - A long time member and supporter of MYFA, Jim has held many titles and positions within the league. As a past president and long time Executive Board member, Jim was a tireless worker and advocate for the league. In the early years, Jim was the “problem-solver” at a time when “problems” arose with regular frequency. A behind-the-scenes kind of guy, Jim’s impact and total hours of commitment to the program can never be measured. Jim was in charge of the fields for many years, serving as the first fields manager after the property was donated to MYFA. As the original fields manager, Jim had the task of laying out the fields and arranging for their original grading and seeding. The acquisition and installation of goal posts and flag pole were arranged, at no cost to the league, by Jim Carnell. Jim made sure we had water when he solicited the donation of a well and laid the underground supply lines. The original road into the complex (located to the south where condos now stand) was built largely to Jim’s efforts. He rarely received any thanks for his commitment, nor did he ever seek any. The time to say thank-you is long overdue. Congratulations Jim and welcome to the MYFA Honor Roll.