While high school, college and even pro football teams deal with the uncertainty of playing this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, youth football locally is full speed ahead.

The Arab-area Youth Football League, otherwise known as pee wee football, held its evaluations and draft Saturday for its three teams, down from four in recent years. The teams are the Raiders, Cowboys and Falcons.

“The league ended up with only three teams this season due to a lack of sign-ups and the fact we wanted to add additional players to each team in case someone was out sick,” league president Ashley Chambers said.

Chambers added that about 80 cheerleaders signed up. Practices for football and cheerleading started this week. The schedule has not been completed yet but opening day/family day is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12.

In travel ball, Arab’s three North Alabama Youth Football teams will host a jamboree at “The Pit” at Arab High School on Saturday. Teams from Gadsden City and Ider also will compete.

Arab and Gadsden City will start things off with a C-team game at noon. Those teams will play three, eight-minute quarters. Ider is not fielding a C-team.

At 12:45 p.m., the B-teams will start a round robin of games consisting of two, eight-minute quarters each. Arab and Gadsden City will play first, followed by Gadsden City vs. Ider at 1:30 p.m. and Arab vs. Ider at 2:15 p.m.

The A-teams will begin play at 3 p.m. The same game format applies except A-teams will have special teams. Arab and Gadsden City play first, followed by Gadsden City vs. Ider at 3:45 p.m. and Arab vs. Ider at 4:30 p.m.

The NAYF schedule also has not been completed, but the first games will be played on Aug. 22.

Finally, the Arab Rec flag football league has expanded to 12 teams overall, according to rec league director Greg Tidmore.

There are six 5-7-year-old teams and six 8-10-year-old teams. Evaluations and drafts are being conducted this week. Games will start after Labor Day (Sept. 7) and continue through mid-October.

Schedules for all three leagues will run in the Tribune as they become available.

Teams are encouraged to submit group photos of players and cheerleaders. Send to: tribnews@otelco.net.

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