The New Mexico Youth American Football League has been around more than 50 years, and organizers believe it isn’t going anywhere despite the threat of COVID-19.
NMYAFL canceled its spring season but is preparing to play in the fall, said Adam Cherry, the league’s president of the board.
“You would hate to get to the point when all of a sudden the league is not financially viable because we just weren’t able to offer the season,” said Cherry, who has been involved with NMYAFL the past seven years. “We certainly believe we’re going to be viable in the future and that this is going to pass at some point in time and we’ll continue to play youth sports. It might look different, but we’ll continue to play sports and have that outlet for the kids.”
The NMYAFL recently told parents in a message on its website: “We are hopeful that by July 20 the health crisis will be behind us and we will be able to kick off the fall season.”
The league, which offers football and cheer for children ages 5-13, typically begins practice for the fall season during the final week of July. Approximately 2,000-2,500 children from the metro area typically participate in NMYAFL’s fall program. The spring season usually has about 750 participants. The league has given parents options of refunds or to apply the fees they paid for the spring to use in future sessions.
Spring registration is $150 per player, and $225 for each to play in the fall.
Cherry said the NMYAFL doesn’t talk about eliminating the fall season, and the league’s board and coaches are prepared to provide activity for the children “based on what the rules are at the time.”
He said staff and coaches look forward to interacting with the young athletes.
“We believe that youth sports are important in our area,” Cherry said. “Whenever it’s available to play, however it’s going to look out there, that there is going to be an interest to get kids back on the field and get them active. And, we want to be a part of that whenever that’s available.”