For years, Jerry Fitzgerald hoped to develop a youth tackle football program in Stevens Point, in order to keep up with other programs in the Wisconsin Valley Conference (WVC).
Then the head football coach at Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH), Fitzgerald started Stevens Point Youth Area Football in 1996, with eight teams comprised of local fifth- and sixth-graders.
This Saturday, Sept. 8, will kick off the 17th season of the league, which has grown to include over 225 youth football players from grades 3 through 6, who play six games each season in the 16-team league.
“It’s really taken off,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s unbelievable. It really is.”