December 14, 2019

Local youth football team moves to eight-man league

Following example set by varsity team


MIO — The Mio Chargers youth football program is changing to an eight-man league from the standard 11-man.

Earlier this year Mio AuSable Schools Athletic Director Jeff Demory announced the varsity team would be moving to eight-man. Chargers President Michelle Knepp said the organization’s board voted to do so in order to ensure the program is similar to the high school team.

“We are excited for this change,” she said. “The high school has opted to move to eight-man, so we feel the youth should move to eight-man as well. The Chargers are a feeder team to the Thunderbolts.”

The Chargers are now a part of the Northeastern Youth 8-Man Football League. Knepp said this league includes schools of similar size to Mio AuSable and Fairview Area Schools. She said the teams that comprise the league are also the teams the Thunderbolts will play down the line.

Knepp said she hopes this change will help the younger players build a love for the game of football that will transition to the high school team when they are of age.

“It is our goal to build a solid youth program to get the kids interested in football so our Thunderbolt teams are successful,” she said. “The kids will be learning the fundamentals of football while being a part of the team.”

One unintended positive outcome of the switch to this league is now even younger children can participate.

“We are excited for the league change because this opens up the opportunity for fourth-graders to now play,” Knepp said. “The league will be for fourth- through eighth-graders.”

Registration is now open for the 2019 season. Knepp said the program is in the process of purchasing new equipment for the team. Therefore, she suggests residents sign their children up for the program as soon as possible so the coaches know how many pieces and what sizes of equipment they need.

The Mio Chargers program is run independently of Mio AuSable Schools. It is funded by registration fees and donations from the community. For more information about the league, or how to volunteer to help, contact Knepp at 989-370-0813.


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