Notice to all Churchill and South Eugene area families, the former Churchill/South Eugene Pop Warner is now Churchill/South Eugene Youth Football and Cheer, if you have any questions you can send an email to: email@example.com
Below is a letter on exactly why our league voted to end our affiliation with Pop Warner, we are doing our best to keep each family up to date and while this is long we believe all pertinent info is in the letter. In short nothing has changed with our league and associations other than the name change. We are the same entity, our players will wear the same gear as they always have. Our motto this year is simply put…..Same game, new name.
The purpose of this is to try to update every family within our league as we know that many are most likely confused after many received an email that was sent out the other day (not by us). I will try and make this short as possible but also keep include all pertinent information as possible to ensure every parent as informed as possible. After this, should you have any more questions, please contact your association president at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First off, our entire league (formerly Willamette Valley Pop Warner) now Willamette Valley Youth Football and Cheer, and all associations (Sheldon, Churchill, Springfield, Thurston, South Eugene, North Eugene, Cottage Grove/Creswell as well as the Willamette and JC/Harrisburg areas) have all undergone a name change this season, that is all. We are all the same exact league and associations that we were last year and have been for the last 15 years, we have voted to end our affiliation with Pop Warner but nothing else has changed within the structure of our league.
In mid February our league president received an email from the Pop Warner National football director as a routine check to make sure that all Pop Warner leagues are following the Pop Warner national rule book exclusively, there is rumor that many other regions and leagues throughout the country were not following the national rule book and had made changes that they felt worked better for their leagues our league being one of them. At that time he gave our league an ultimatum to either discontinue the use of our current rule book that has been in use for over 7 years or revert back to exclusively following the National PW rule book, if we did not comply our charter would not be renewed.
On March 7th, 2016, during the League Executive Board meeting, a vote was taken to either end our leagues affiliation with Pop Warner or to renew the charter and follow the Pop Warner national rule book. The vote was majority was for our league to end our affiliation with Pop Warner national and continue the use of the of the rule book, I believe the vote was 9 to leave Pop Warner and 3 to stay. The rule book we have created in conjunction with our partners in the Rogue Valley area is partially based of the PW national rule book, we always have and will continue to utilize all of the safety rules and bulletins set forth by Pop Warner, USA Heads Up Football (certified by the NFL and the CDC, Center of Disease Control), as well as AAU, all of which include concussion training as well many more coach training courses that are mandatory for our coaches to be certified to coach in our league. Our coaches have and always will be held to the highest standard and expectations and the safety of every player in every association within our league always has been and will continue to be our FIRST priority. As we all know it is impossible to create an injury free environment on the football field but we will continue to anything and everything in our power to make it the safest and most positive experience possible for the players in our league
During this meeting that the board voted to end our affiliation with Pop Warner the Willamette and Junction City/Harrisburg area presidents/representatives voted to remain affiliated with Pop Warner. At this time, both area representatives made it clear that they would not to recognize the vote taken by the league board that has been unified for the past 15 years. Due to their choice to not to continue with our league, these presidents were voted out of our league and now are attempting to start their own football league affiliated with Pop Warner. As mentioned before, we do still have boards in both of these areas, as well as all of the Willamette coaches have all committed to the new WVYFC president that they will be staying with our league as we move forward.
In short, two presidents and some of their board members are attempting to start another tackle football league in our area using Pop Warner’s name and utilizing the national Pop Warner rule book. We fully support Pop Warner and have been proud to be affiliated with them for almost 15 years. However, in the beginning, when our league did follow the national rule book the board felt over time that there were rules that were not a good fit for our area. The league board at the time felt that the age/weight matrix in the Pop Warner rule book was the main issue and was main reason for going away from the national rule book, exclusively in order to make a football organization that was best for our community.
The previous Willamette area president has been the main contact for what is being called the new Pop Warner in Willamette Valley. He has only been an association president for less than 5 months, which has made it difficult for him to give any accurate answers when asked at his informational parent meetings, and is why we are doing our best to keep lines of communication open with our families. Due to our league no longer being affiliated with Pop Warner, every area president and league executive board member now no longer has access to the database we have used for years. Only this “new” Willamette area representative has the access to every player’s info such as email/address/information, etc. This is why you you have been receiving their emails. The email yesterday, this was not from the league your child has been playing with for all the years past. You are welcome to opt out of their emails by clicking “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of that email if you choose.
Thus far, only the Willamette HS area and Junction City/Harrisburg HS area have the “new” Pop Warner boards. A few things they are failing to mention in their emails is that they will not have enough teams in this area for an actual “league”, so any teams they can form in the local area will be playing in the Mid Valley Pop Warner league up north. They claim that they have a deal worked out with Dwayne Johnson, the president of Mid Valley Pop Warner for 50/50 home and away games. Our league president works closely and has a good relationship with the Mid Valley president so we invited Mr. Johnson down to an informational meeting that was held for parents in the Willamette and JC/Harrisburg areas. The purpose of inviting the meeting was not for us to go in and try to sway families into stay with our league, we simply wanted to make sure the parents heard our side of what has transpired and having Mr. Johnson on hand so he could answer any questions parents in those areas that may possibly be joining his league. When asked how many games he would be able to give teams in this area, he was very noncommittal and said it will be discussed at a later date once everything down here is worked out as well as finding out if they would have any fields for them to use. All teams in the MVPW league play their games on weekends so parents can plan on traveling up to the Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, Salem and Silverton areas most weekends. Additionally, Mr. Johnson also made it very clear that they absolutely do not schedule or move game times based on Duck and Beaver games. One other point this new group has failed to mention in their email is that practice in the MVPW league starts on the 1st of August, we already have families that think we start too early and our league practices start on the same day that high schools are allowed to start per the OSAA.
As mentioned earlier, the new league will be following the Pop Warner National rule book. In doing so they are forced to follow Pop Warner’s age/weight matrix, again as mentioned earlier this age weight matrix (attached is this matrix) was the main reason for our league board 7 years ago to vote to adopt a grade/weight matrix instead. The best example of their matrix that our league does not agree and feel strongly that it does create a safety issue is the older/lighter rule, by reverting back to national Pop Warner rules their matrix the 4th and 5thaged players are all in the Jr PeeWee division. Also allowed in the JPW division are 6th graders that weigh less than 99 pounds. In this instance you could potentially have a 6th grader that has played football from the time he was in the 1st grade and is more mentally and physically mature could be playing against a 1st year 4th grade aged player. At the time the decision was made 7 years ago the league board felt there was an issue with the league losing 4th graders because they were getting very little playing time. Not only were the 4th grade aged players battling for playing time against the 5th grade aged player on their team but they were also battling the older/lighter 6th grader aged players as well. Under national rules the division that is made up of mainly 6th grade players by age is the PeeWee division, in this division you could have a 7th grade aged player that weighs under 114 pounds playing on that team. At that that time to present our league places a very high value on players playing with their classmates, we want them playing with their classmates all the way through our league then into high school . This is why the decision was made to split the Jr PeeWee division and make that our 4th grade division, PeeWee our 5th grade division and 6th Junior midget.
We still have the same fully functioning boards in each area and plan on registration this May with the same timeline of practices, games, and State Championships at Autzen Stadium as in year’s past. Along with this, we still work with our partners in Southern Oregon the Medford/Rogue valley areas. They also have dropped their affiliation with Pop Warner and have chose to continue our partnership in utilizing the same rule book that both leagues have developed together over the last 7 years.
We are here to answer any questions you may have, and again apologize that this has turned into such a confusing mess, we look forward to this upcoming season and providing another great and ever improving football experience for your kids.
Churchill/South Eugene Youth Football and Cheer Board