PCYF battling challenges on, off field ahead of 2021 season

Polk County Youth Football and Cheerleading will soon begin its 2021 schedule, its season openers set for August 21.

It’s been quite a road over the past year for the organization to get to that point.

PCYF teams last played a regular-season game in 2019 as Western North Carolina Youth Football and Cheerleading, of which PCYF is a member, opted to cancel the 2020 season due to the coroniavirus pandemic.

Losing the season has had an impact on PCYF’s numbers; organization president Liz Simpson said there are currently some 60 players and 40 cheerleaders preparing for this season. PCYF fields four teams, and Simpson said the Termites (ages 5-6) and Midgets (ages 11-12) have barely enough players for a team.

That’s one reason a local business offered to take care of registration fees for anyone wishing to sign up to play this season. Simpson said that offer still holds, and players and cheerleaders are still welcome to join any of the age groups. Players are asked to sign up by this Thursday, if possible, as weigh-ins will be held on Saturday.

PCYF teams practice each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at Searcy Field in Mill Spring.

Finding enough players, though, is only part of the challenge this season for PCYF. The organization’s equipment building was vandalized last year, resulting in a loss of equipment.

“They got helmets, shoulder pads and jerseys,” Simpson said of the break-in. “Also, rodents have been in our trailer tearing stuff. We are trying to get a building put up at Searcy Field.”

To that end, PCYF is accepting donations to help the ongoing effort to replace the stolen and damaged equipment.

Anyone interested in donating or finding out more information about PCYF can email the organization at polkcountyyouthfootball@gmail.com. The organization is a non-profit, so donations are tax deductible.

The full PCYF schedule for this season:

Aug. 21: West Henderson, 10 a.m.
Sept 4: at East Henderson, 4 p.m.
Sept. 11: Rosman, 10 a.m.
Sept. 18: at Brevard, 4 p.m.
Sept. 25: Owen, 10 a.m.
Oct. 2: at East Buncombe, 10 a.m.
Oct. 9: at Rosman, 10 a.m.

PCYF plays its home games im G.M. Tennant Stadium at Polk County High School.

Members of the WNC organization this season include:

East Buncombe
East Henderson
North Buncombe
Polk County
West Henderson