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The Morning After Batavia's Friday Night Lights

Batavia Youth Football is a hit among the grade-school crowd. The high-school players are right by their side on Saturday mornings after the big game. Here's more info and some pictures.

To see these Batavia youth football photos in full size, place your cursor on the main photo above. Click on one of the gray arrows that appear on the sides. Continue clicking to move through all the photos.

It’s 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

Less than 12 hours ago the Batavia High School football team emerged at Burgess Field.

Less than 12 hours earlier last week the after defeating St. Charles East.

You may think that the varsity football players are sleeping in before they go to films at 11 a.m.

Not a chance.

They are spending their Saturday morning participating in Batavia Youth Football.

Batavia Youth Football (BYF) was formed in 2004 by a group of motivated Batavia parents with the Batavia Park District, according to the Youth Football website. 

The youth program has the support of the football program and is committed to providing kids the opportunity to learn and play the game of football in a fun environment. The group emphasizes:

  • teamwork
  • respect
  • sportsmanship
  • good citizenship 
  • education

BYF organizes a fall football league for youth in first through seventh grades. The fall league is divided into four areas:

  • first-second grade touch football
  • third-fourth grade flag football
  • fifth-sixth grade flag football
  • seventh grade tackle football program

Participants in touch and flag football practice one hour a week and have games on Saturday mornings. Youth in the seventh-grade tackle program have a larger commitment.

Not even a decade old, BYF has enjoyed tremendous growth since 2004. This year over 450 youth participate in the fall touch and flag football league. That translates to 42 teams playing each other on Saturday mornings.

In seventh grade, over 80 young players are divided into four teams with a nine-game schedule that includes inter-squad matchups and games with other football programs.

And many who participated in Batavia Youth Football are now BHS football players. They give back to BYF and help coach the youngest football players on Saturday mornings.

But it’s hard to tell who is having more fun—the first and second graders or the high school football players who coach them.

This article was courtesy Ellen Knautz of Batavia. She is the Batavia Youth Football website coordinator. She is also a coordinator for the program's fundraising, concessions and Community Day.

To learn more about Batavia Youth Football, click here.

To learn more about Batavia High School Football, click here.

To read updates and see pictures during and after the Bulldogs football games, head to batavia.patch.com/sports.

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