Paris JFL Head Football Coach Chip Keys and PHS Football coach Jeremy Clodfelder watch a play unfold during Monday’s practice.  Clodfelder has been actively involved in the development of the youth program and provides encouragement to the young athletes. (Michelle Jacobs/The Prairie Press)

Paris JFL ready for season

The players and coaches of the Paris Youth Football team took over John P. Allen Field Monday to officially begin preparing for the upcoming season.  

There are 20 fourth graders, 30 fifth and sixth graders and 30 seventh and eighth graders donning their pads and helmets for the first time this season.

The Paris Youth Football program is a part of the larger Wabash Valley Youth Football League.  The league is comprised of eight teams including Paris, Marshall, Casey, Cumberland, Tri-County, Oblong, Martinsville and Palestine-Hutsonville.

All eight teams will meet for the first time at the Wabash Valley Youth Football Jamboree on Sunday, Aug. 6, at John P. Allen field.  Following the official weigh-in of all league players at 11 a.m., scrimmages between the teams will mark the first competition of the season.  

The scrimmages are timed at 20 minutes with a running clock and will feature 10 minutes of offense and 10 minutes of defense for each team.

Coaching the young Paris Tigers this year are fourth grade coach Dustin Reed, fifth/sixth grade coaches Steve Branch, Terry Rogers, Jordon Keys and Bobby Sinclair and seventh/eighth grade coaches Chip Keys, Erik Trogdon, Matt Wright, Judd Rhoads, Jeff Arp, and Greg Stuck.

Keys, also in his fourth year as director of Paris Youth Football, is optimistic for the upcoming season.  

“We are ready!”  Keys added that adjustments have been made on both sides of the ball from last year to fit this year’s roster as younger players have stepped in to fill vacancies left by players graduating from the program.

For Paris’ coaches and players, the preparation for this year’s season did not begin just this week.  The off-season program, led by the youth football coaching staff, provides the athletes with the use of the facilities at Allen field to physically prepare for the season ahead. 

Paris High School head football coach Jeremy Clodfelder is a regular and welcome presence at Allen field during both the pre-season workouts and practices.  Clodfelder, who has yet to miss a Paris Youth Football home game, has been instrumental in developing the youth program. “It’s great having a guy with his football IQ around to lean on for advice”, Keys said.  Keys has even molded his practices, techniques and schemes to match those of the high school program which helps the players as they transition to the Paris High School football program.

The public is invited to the August 6 Jamboree.  The cost of admission is $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for students.  The seventh/eighth team will face Marshall at 1:00 p.m. and Tri-County at 3:00 p.m. on the north field.  The fifth/sixth team will scrimmage on the south field against Marshall at 1:30 pm and Tri-County at 3:30 p.m.

The regular season begins for the young Tigers on Saturday, August 12 as they host Casey at John P. Allen field.  The fifth/sixth grade game begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by the seventh/eighth grade contest.  Admission to the games is $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for students. 


The Prairie Press

101 Central Avenue Paris, IL 61944