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Youth football heads to playoffs
The Oak Harbor Youth Football League has made a clean sweep as every local team has qualified for the North Cascades Youth Football League (NCYFL) Playoffs.
The NCYFL has 44 teams from 17 different cities in the North Cascades area with over 1,200 players participating.
"We have been very successful in years past, having won four of the nine NCYFL championships in the last three years," said John Dumas, president of the Oak Harbor League.
"This year the kids and coaches accomplished something special by getting all the teams into the playoffs."
The Prowlers, Intruders, Warriors, Bombers and Jets will open their respective playoffs today in pursuit of a trip to the NCYFL championship game. Since 1998 OHYFL teams have won four titles.
The Oak Harbor Youth Football League is a non-profit organization consisting of children ages seven to 14 that attend school in the Oak Harbor School District. Players are placed in varying divisions based on age and weight criteria.
Each team consists of approximately 25-30 football players, a volunteer coaching staff, and a cheer squad that travels with the team for each game. The teams travel as far north as Ferndale, south to Everett, east to Concrete and out to Friday Harbor.
The Jets (7-0), coached by Scott Brookhouse, and the Bombers (5-2), coached by Rod Magana, play in the Midget Division age nine and 10. The Bombers will face the Friday Harbor Tigers in Friday Harbor while the Jets host the North County Eagles.
The Ric Lobbelstael-led Warriors (7-1) and the Ray Benson-coached Intruders (5-2) play in the Junior Division, 11-12 years old. The Intruders will travel to meet the Anacortes Seahawks while the Warriors will host Sedro Woolley.
The Prowlers, under the direction of Les Boon, (4-4) play in the Senior Division, 13-14 year olds, and will go to Burlington to open the playoffs.
A sixth Oak Harbor team, the Jammers, coached by Curtis McLaurin, compete in the Pee Wee Division. This division is for seven and eight year olds and was created solely as an instructional league to teach football fundamentals. There are no playoffs as wins and losses are not tracked according to Dumas.
In recent years this league has produced such players as Jason Williams, a linebacker for the University of Idaho Vandals and Amon Gordon, a starting defensive end at Stanford University.