Time to sign up for minor football teams

Published in the Daily Gleaner on Saturday August 22, 2009
Appeared on page B3

The Capital Area Minor Football Association is back in gear this weekend. Literally.

There will be a registration and fitting session for gear Sunday from 6-10 p.m. at Willie O'Ree Place in Fredericton and the Hazen Park Centre adjacent to the Oromocto Mall for the newly formed Capital Area Midget Gladiators. It's a program for players aged 16-17 who don't have a high school football program in which to participate.

The team will play eight-man football against three teams from Maine.

It's one of two new programs launched under the CAMFA banner this season. There will also be a new mite flag football program for boys and girls ages 6-7 as of Dec. 31. Teams will play games on Saturday afternoons beginning in September and running through to Oct. 31.

The first practice sessions for the new league, in which players are "tackled" by having a flag pulled off which is attached to a belt around their waist, will be Aug. 25 and 27 at Lincoln Heights Field from 6-8 p.m. Six players will be on the field at a time. Each player receives a T-shirt jersey with large numbers on the front and back, a football and a trophy. The mite and midget programs are the newest additions to a vibrant football program in the Fredericton area which continues to thrive.

The Capital Area Minor Football Association girls tackle program kicks off a second season with practice beginning Sept. 8. Players from ages 14-17 will be coached by players from the Capital Area Lady Gladiators of the Maritime Women's Football League. Teams will practise twice and play one game each week, with the season ending Oct. 31.

The middle school tackle division, for players 12-13, will include six teams this season, with the Bliss Carman Eagles, George Street Crusaders, Nashwaaksis Nordics, Oromocto Panthers, Oromocto Tigers and Devon-Pointe Ste. Anne Wildcat-Gladiateurs taking the field for practices beginning Aug. 24. Teams will be aiming to travel to Moncton Nov. 15 for the New Brunswick championship and hoping to carry on to the Atlantic championship the next weekend in Nova Scotia.

The bantam division, for players ages 14-15, encompasses the Fredericton Junior Black Kats, Oromocto Junior Blues and Northside Junior Lions. Teams will play both eight-man and 12-man schedules.

The New Brunswick championship is in Moncton Nov. 15 with the Maritime championship also in Moncton. Training camp for the bantam programs begins Aug. 24.

The mosquito league is tackle football for boys aged 9-11 and girls 9-12. Since it's the first level at which tackle football is introduced, coaches are on the field all the time to ensure players learn how to block and tackle correctly.

Teams include the Nashwaaksis Axemen, Devon Knights, West End Rough Riders, New Maryland Rams, East End Crush, Oromocto Red Dogs and Oromocto Grizzlies. Training camp takes place Aug. 24 and 26 at 6 p.m. at Lincoln Heights Field, with games on Mondays and Saturdays in September and October.

The registration fee for bantam, middle school, mosquito and midget is $180. The fee for the squirt program is $130, with the mite and girls tackle programs costing $100 each. Players playing tackle football must also make a $50 deposit on equipment with a cheque dated Oct. 31. For more information, call 458-0824 during the day and 459-8726 evenings. More information is also available on the website at www.capitalareafootball.nb.ca.