THE JFL INSIDER 3 by opza81


                                                 October 13, 2010

                                                       Issue No. 3


                 Where the Tradition Began – A History of the Russell JFL

          The Russell JFL was founded in 1967 by a group of five men who wanted to
create a league where young men could learn the fundamentals of football while learning to
be part of a team and part of something bigger than themselves. The founding members of
the JFL were Bill Callihan, Tom Wilson, Art Greene, Clay Daniels and Hamp Hickman.
These five men initially borrowed $6,000.00 to start the league and to purchase equipment
for the boys who signed up to play. They did fundraisers to raise money for equipment for
all the kids who joined the league. Some of the fundraisers included country music shows
and charging admission for firework displays. Through their fundraising efforts they were
able to raise monies to cover the cost of equipment for all the boys who signed up to play.
The first year there were seven teams formed – four peewee league teams and three little
league teams. Each boy was outfitted with monies raised by these fundraising efforts.
After the first year Chuck Clarke, L.G. Mullins, Johnny Millis, Bill Vallance, Harold
Miller and Don Jones joined the efforts in support of JFL.

          The community rallied around this new league and on Saturdays Russell fans
came out to support the players and cheerleaders and to cheer on their favorite team.
Russell fans were proud to have a league of their own for future Red Devils to play in.
Prior to the formation of the JFL, local boys had played on small city teams managed by
the YMCA. Each small city or town formed their own team – Kenwood, Bellefonte,
Raceland, Russell, Flatwoods, and West Russell. The teams played down on the river on
the old high school football field. So the Russell JFL league brought a great deal of pride
to Russell fans and was a central community event every Saturday.                    Con’t.

 Standings as of 10/13/10:                                  Upcoming Games of Note:
 Pee Wee
 Browns 6-1                                                 10/14 @ 5:30pm
 Raiders 6-1                                                (A) Browns v. Sun Devils
 Sun Devils 2-5
 Steelers 0-7                                               10/16 @ 11:00am
                                                            (A) Raiders v. Browns
 Little League
 Gold 5-1                                                   10/30: Gold v. White
 White 5-1
 Black 2-4
 Maroon 0-6                                                                                   1
the Text Box Tools tab to change the formatting of the pull quote text box.]
           JFL had obtained permission           Through donations, the JFL was
 from the Russell Independent School             able to raise over $50,000.00 in
 System to use the current High                  donations from the community to
 School field on Saturdays so that               install lights on the JFL field.
 games could be played on the field.             Labor for installing the lighting
 This field served as the home for               system came from JFL fans and
 teams such as the Eagles, the Jets, the         supporters. As a result our players
 Patriots, and the Bears. The Bears              are now able to play on a
 were coached by Coach L.G.                      professional, beautifully manicured
 Mullins. His record of success                  field and are able to enjoy the thrill
 resulted in the Bears team name                 of playing night games. Through
 being retired when Coach Mullins                the kind generosity of many JFL
 finally retired. After Coach Mullins            supporters the total cost of the field
 retired from coaching he remained an            lighting has now been paid in full.
 active member of the JFL Board for
 several years.                                            Each year the JFL hosts
                                                 approximately 250 young men and
 Building on such community support,             at least 100 young women in our
 the JFL ultimately decided to                   league. These young people have
 investigate construction of its own             an opportunity to be part of a team
 field. The Russell school system                sport and to learn the fundamentals
 then agreed to allow the JFL to                 of their sport. None of this would
 construct a field next to the Russell           be possible without the volunteer
 Primary School. The dream was                   board members, coaches, assistant
 born, the school system supported it,           coaches and parents who work each
 and the work began. Volunteers from             and every week and volunteer their
 the community donated time,                     time to ensure that the JFL is a
 resources and money so that the field           success.
 could be built. In 2000, teams started
 playing on the field and a small Pepsi                    While most of us are
 cart was used as the concession stand.          willing to volunteer to help our own
 A concession stand and restrooms                children and their team, we would
 were built over the next several years          be remiss if we did not take note of
 culminating in the JFL field’s current          the men who volunteer to coach
 condition.                                      year after year long after their own
                                                 children have graduated from the
           In 2002 the JFL added flag            league - these men have given of
 football so that boys and girls ages 4,         their time for years to mentor not
 5, and 6 could be involved in                   only their own children but
 football. Flag football has added a             hundreds of other people’s children
 whole new element to the JFL                    as well.
 program. Young kids are encouraged
 to get excited about the program very                     The league could not have
 early in their development and                  continued without their ongoing
 parents have stepped forward to                 support of the children in our
 volunteer as needed to operate this             community. Some of the more
 part of the JFL program.                        colorful coaches in JFL history
                                                 donating such time are Bill
 In 2008, the Saturday Night Lights              Vallance, Lonzo Jones, Bozo
 Program was created so that JFL                 Vallance, Andy Riley, Doug
 boys would have professional lights             Calhoun, Dale Parker, and Chuck
 on the field.                                   Jachimczuk. The stories about this
                                                 group of men could take pages to
                                                 tell and will not be detailed in this
                                                                                Con’t.    2
                          THE JFL INSIDER
Coach Ivan McGlone has been an avid supporter of the JFL program and has worked with the Russell administration to
ensure that our JFL players and cheerleaders are honored each year at JFL night during a high school football game. The
smiles on the faces of our players and cheerleaders make this evening a very special event for all concerned.

In conclusion, much of this article is being written from the personal recollection of the writer as no detailed historical
account has been kept of the JFL over the past half a century. Many dedicated individuals who have served the JFL have
no doubt been inadvertently omitted. However, all of these individuals, both named and unnamed have been committed to
one thing - ensuring that the Russell football tradition starts with the JFL.

Written By: Tracy Frye (Proud supporter of the Browns for over 30 years)

         2011 Registration                                                  Tournament Time

       Please check the website in                             The Russell JFL will be entering several
       June 2011 for registration                               post season tournaments this year. The
              information.                                   teams will follow a grade level format. For
                                                                example, 5th graders from the Browns,
                                                              Raiders, Steelers and Sun Devils will form                                   a 5th grade team and enter the tournament as
                                                              a Russell team. The same is true for each
         It is imperative for the fair                                        grade level.
       and equitable distribution of
      players that all participants be                            Tournament schedule is as follows:
       registered prior to the draft.
       Additionally, all players will                               10/23 -27: Raceland Black Bowl
         need to be weighed by a
       league official at one of the                                     10/30-31: Greenup Bowl
            official registrations.
                                                                           11/6: Rail Cities Bowl
                                                                            Russell v. Raceland
        Timely player registration
     helps to ensure a fair draft and
     in turn a well balanced league.                                              Coaches
       The Russell JFL intends on
     having all players registered to                        5th Grade: Sean Whitt & Scott Bates
       play prior to the 2011 draft.                         4th Grade: Ron Sabotchick & Tim Duvall
                                                             3rd Grade: Chris Gunning
                                                             2nd Grade: Chuck & Spencer Jachizumcuk

                                                               Additional information will be posted on
                                                                              the website

                 THE JFL INSIDER

                            Thoughts on Kids and Sports
     Don’t think he’ll turn pro because he scores more often than other kids. On
     the other hand, don’t think he’s destined for a life of geekdom just because
       he’s the worst player on the team. Either way, the odds are he will be
                      exactly average by the time he’s seventeen.

                                   Freeze Frame
                              Blake Hester: Sun Devils
Photo is courtesy of the Official Photographer of the Russell JFL, Marty Conley Photography:


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