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Fort Smith
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

WCFL Reaping What They Sowed


No matter what people tell you, an idea can change the world” – Robin Williams.

Last year was the inaugural season for the West Central Football League. The league was formed to give small school little league programs an opportunity to play equal competition and have the chance to create growth within their programs. With many towns in 2018 starting the season having barely enough players for a team, it was evident that it would take some time to get everyone up to par.

Over the offseason, WCFL Board Members worked together sharing “Tricks of the Trade” and coming up with ideas to help build programs. Although many teams are still holding signups, teams shared their most recent numbers and the results are very promising. The numbers don’t show explosions of growth, but the seeds the WCFL planted last season are definitely starting to break through the ground.

WCFL President and Magazine Representative, Doug Powell, is excited about the growth in his Rattler little league football program. “Growth of any amount is big for our league teams. We are the smallest school in the WCFL. With fewer athletes available, one player potentially makes a greater impact for us than the rest of the league. Gaining one kid per grade can be huge for us,” expresses Powell.

“Numbers for our Jr High have been dwindling over the years. Having growth and strong numbers in little league gives us a chance to change the program’s direction and accomplish my goal of consistent achievements. In the last five years, we have the most 7th graders playing football this season. Our goal is to continue this trend each year. If we achieve that, we will be competitive with our Sr High program and also have more success. I am pleased with where the little league program is right now. We want to continue to develop the league and make it even better.”

Hackett Little League President and WCFL Board Representative for the Hornets, Dave Slavens, adds “Being a part of the WCFL has created the opportunity for us to consistently compete with schools who are the same in size and numbers as we are. All schools in the WCFL are benefiting from this. We are starting to see more rivalry games now in the WCFL also, which you don’t see a lot of anymore.”

With school now in session, teams still have the opportunity to catch kids who were on vacation or at camps over the summer. The deadline for teams to turn in their rosters for the 2019 season is August 24th. The old saying goes “you’re either growing or dying” and even though it will take some more time, it is very evident that the small school programs of the West Central Football League are alive and well.

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