— By BRIAN SMITH
After a tumultuous 2013 season that saw one of its teams yanked out of a postseason spot after a well-publicized scuffle with Crowley parents, the Weatherford Pee Wee Football League has regrouped and found itself a new home for the 2014 season.
League Vice President Chris Frank said it took a few months to find a new league that wouldn’t involve a lot of travel and was a “good fit” for the WPWFL. Frank said the league will be taking part in the Tarrant County Football Association this fall with final approval expected Sunday, March 16.
“This is the first time Weatherford has been represented in that Tarrant County league,” Frank said. “It’s not that much further of a drive than what we had last year.”
Teams in the league include Saginaw, North Crowley and others. The league has a different outlook toward playing that Frank said he likes.
“All kids on a team must play at least four plays a half, which is great,” Frank said. “We hope to exceed that with our Weatherford teams because we know our parents and kids don’t want to pay the money and just have their kids sit there.”
A new location for games is being sought as well, as the league is in negotiations to use Cartwright Park as the site for home games.
“We are talking with Mr. (Interim Parks and Recreation Director Shannon) Goodman for use of the park,” Frank said. “There’s a lot of space out there and plenty of room for everyone.”
Anticipation for the season is high, even at this early date, Frank said. He says he has gotten a number of phone calls from parents in other leagues wanting to take part as well as his present parents. Frank’s wife, Crystal, says the league is expected to grow this year from last year’s 40 to 45 players and 20 cheerleaders.
Football teams will also be broken down for kids ages 6-11 with a team for ages six and seven, another for ages eight and nine and a third for ages 10 and 11, Frank said. Early bird registration for the season, which begins in August, is set for Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Harberger Hill Community Center, 701 Narrow St., in Weatherford. Registration is $150 on March 22 and $175 afterwards.
Crystal Frank, cheerleader director of the WPWFL, says cheerleaders are also needed for the March 22 registration. Crystal says teams are grouped by age level much like football, except when a cheerleader has a sibling playing football.
“We really like the player and cheerleader to be together whenever possible to try and keep the parent from being torn in two different directions,” Frank said. “Other than that, they will be kept within their age group.”
Registration for the complete cheerleading package, including uniform and accessories, is $285 during the March 22 registration and $325 afterwards. No future registration dates have been planned, Frank said.
Frank said the league is always looking for coaches. An application, screening and interview process will be conducted. For more information on registration, visit www.weatherfordoutlawfootball.com.