Thirty-four scrimmages are scheduled Saturday in Vilonia and teams from Vilonia, Greenbrier, Morrilton, Mayflower, Clinton and Bald Knob are down for a major youth football event date.
The Vilonia Youth Football Association Jamboree is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and the last scrimmage of the day is expected to end about 5:30 p.m. This marks the second year that VYFA director John Noel put on this event.
The games are going to be played on two fields. One is by the Vilonia High softball field, and the other one is across from the Phillip D. Weaver Stadium, just west of the softball fields.
"Last year, it went really well," Noel said. "We only had one field, but we had fewer teams also last year. This year we’re expecting a large crowd. We have twice the number of teams coming and they’re some pretty good teams, too."
Each scrimmage will last 30 minutes, which will be divided into two 15-minute sessions. Each team will have 15 minutes on offense and 15 minutes on defense.
"We’re going to have games from the third-graders to the sixth-graders," Noel said. "Everybody is divided up and will play in their proper age division, so it’ll be fair and these coaches can get a good look at their team."
This is the first year that VYFA opened the league up to third-graders. Noel said the Vilonia program was able to get a red and a white team even in the third-grade division, so the turnout has been well. Noel said that a total of 167 youngsters were registered in the Vilonia youth football program, which is the highest number in the VYFA’s history.
"At first, we put the third- and the fourth-graders together, but then the third-graders broke away," Noel said. "They picked up everything quicker than I thought. I coach fourth-graders, so I can see all of the third-grade coaches and the players right down from me. They all look like a well-oiled machine."
According to Noel, there are about 20 players per team in their league.
"We’re making progress with this league but we’re not satisfied," Noel said. "We want to make this one of the best youth football organizations in the state."
All proceeds and donations from this event will go to the upkeep of the VYFA. Noel said the association is trying to purchase a five- blocking sled and a tackling sled. VFYA coaches will also be waiting tables at Chik-Fil-A in Conway on Monday evening. They’ll be getting a portion of the ticket sales for football program.
"We’re hoping that we have a good crowd come out on Saturday and on Monday," Noel said. "This is all going for a good cause. It’s for the kids."