Youth football opens new year

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By Mickey Patterson

BUCKNER – If the first play of this year’s Oldham County Youth Football League season is any indication, the league is in for an exciting year.Kyle Fidanza, of the Junior Tackle Bucaneers took the first kickoff of the season back 60-yards for a touchdown as the league kicked off a new season Saturday at its complex in Wendell Moore Park.“It’s always fun to see it get started and see the kids out there playing ball,” OCYFL president Tim Kollenberg said. “There’s a lot of work by our board, our coaches and our parents that goes on before any of this can happen.”Using both fields and with a newly paved area around the Warner Jones field house and concession stand, the league welcomed more than 400 players and 160 cheerleaders along with their parents and fans Saturday.The league will play through the end of October with games on Saturday and Sunday afternoons in three divisions, Pee Wee, Junior and Senior tackle along with cheerleading squads for each team.“We have just about 600 kids involved now so it’s a pretty big undertaking,” Kollenberg said. “Our biggest problem before was no one actually realized we were here. We have tried to get out in the county at things like Oldham County Day and other school functions and it’s paid off with the way the league has grownin the last few years.”Kollenberg works with a 35-member board, many of whom have been with the league since the early days giving the program a sense of continuity and stability.The league receives support from local businesses and from the Warner Jones Foundation, set up by the famous horseman, who supported the league in its early days.Most of the work, however, comes from people pitching in, those, “who will grab a hammer or a screwdriver and donate their time to get the job done,” Kollenberg said.“You can look around here on any given day and see people like Vivian Jones and Greg and Amy Smith and a lot of others who have been around here since it started,” Kollenberg said. “Most of these people do it because they love the sport and they love working with the kids.“It’s all done by volunteers. I am proud of how we have done the past few years. There have been a lot of good people who have made this league what it is and I hope we have been able to live up to that and make it better.”

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