Fairfield Youth Football Coach Jake Johnson told the district’s board of directors at its Nov. 14 meeting there are a large number of youngsters living in the district who are interested in the sport. Johnson fears the students’ enthusiasm could diminish if the district does not incorporate a middle school program.
“The majority of those players are coming from Fairfield,” the eight-year coach said when Board Vice President Jack Liller asked if students in Johnson’s program live within the district.
Johnson told the board a middle school program would give ninth-grade players the opportunity to play on the middle school team, preventing them from being forced to play older students who are larger and stronger. The program would also be better equipped to prepare students to play at the varsity level than the youth football program.
“We want successful student-athletes across the board,” Johnson said.
Fairfield Area High School began its 2022 football season with 19 players. Injuries forced the team to cancel its Sept. 9 game against Hamburg.
Johnson said the youth football program currently includes 13 seventh graders and 8 sixth graders. Participation by younger students show those numbers are sustainable, he added.
The board took no action, but seemed willing to discuss the possibility of a middle school program with Johnson.
District Superintendent Thomas J. Haupt told the board a review of the district’s dress and grooming policy concluded with a determination that no changes are necessary. The policy was last reviewed in 2018.
The district also reviewed the guidelines that accompany that policy, Haupt said, and made changes for the first time in 10-15 years. The guidelines were created with student input, Haupt said.
“They indicated they liked that it is no longer, in their view, more geared towards what females cannot wear,” Haupt said. “It is more general neutral.”
Haupt said building administrators, not teachers or staff, will be responsible for enforcing dress guidelines. The new guidelines will go into effect after the Thanksgiving holiday, he added.
Alex Hayes, Consulting Editor, has spent almost two decades in the Adams County news business. He is heavily involved in the community through his work at the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County and volunteer roles at the Rotary Club of Gettysburg, Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, the United Way of Adams County, and Healthy Adams County. Alex is also a freelance writer for several other publications in South Central Pennsylvania.