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Monday, April 24, 2017

Fort Thomas Jr. Football League | A Letter From the President

FTM file. 
For the past 60 years, the Fort Thomas Junior Football League (FTJFL) has been providing a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for the children of our community to participate in an instructional team sport.  The lessons learned through such participation have helped shape our children’s future in an impactful and positive manner.  The FTJFL looks forward to another 60 years of providing this community benefit.

The FTJFL has made a number of changes over the years.  We have started playing teams from outside of our league to give our kids a chance to face different competition, while at the same time maintaining the structure of our league.  We have increased playing time for all age groups.  We have re-instituted a college scholarship for HHS graduates that played in our league.  We took a team of 8th graders to Knoxville, Tennessee this year to play in the Battle in Rocky Top football tournament, which we plan on doing in the future.

This is an advertisement. 
The FTJFL is considering adding a division in which 2nd and 3rd graders could participate.  If there is enough interest expressed throughout the community, the league plans on starting this new division in the 2017 season.  If you have a child in this age group and would like more information, please contact Dave Simons at

Our league is always looking for responsible, committed volunteers for various duties.  As always, if you or anyone you know may be interested in coaching, contact any board member that is listed on our league website,  You do not have to have a child in the league to be a coach.  We are also looking for volunteers who would like to serve on the board or as game day supervisors.

We are continually trying to improve the experience that the players and parents have while participating in the FTJFL.  We are always open to your suggestions on how to achieve this goal.  Please do not hesitate to contact any board member on what you think will help improve the league.

Dave Simons
President, Fort Thomas Junior Football League


  1. As a Ft. Thomas native (now living in another state), and a product of the Ft. Thomas Junior Football League in the 80s, I implore the league to NOT expand tackle football to 2nd and 3rd graders. My reasons are several and are based upon my experiences in the area I live in now. First, there is absolutely no evidence that having 7 and 8 year-olds play tackle football leads to a better high school football program. In fact, it HURTS the high school program years later, as many kids shy away from football because of bad experiences at such a young age. Second, many parents are much more reluctant to put 7 year-olds in pads than, say, a 10 year old. As a result, a kid who doesn't play in 2nd or 3rd grade--who may be a great football prospect down the road--but tries to start playing tackle football 2 or 3 years later, will immediately be unaccustomed to tackle football and will be dissuaded from playing. By contrast, if all players in Ft. Thomas begin at the same time, at a later age, there will be a larger pool of kids to choose from and work with. Third, the risk of injury is high with younger kids, many of whom just stand around "in space" and are subject to hits by kids who are more focused. The bones in 7 and 8 year-olds are under-developed, and the chance of growth plate injuries are magnified at this young of an age. To the League President: What benefit is there to having 2nd and 3rd graders hit in pads? Answer: NONE. And the risks of injuries and dissuading parents and kids from participating are high. Again, I have seen this in the high school program in my current city. My appreciation for Ft.Thomas football and other sports has grown having experienced the AAU-type youth league experience in my current neck of the woods. Highlands football has been successful for many reasons, but a major reason, IMO, is that the Junior Football League eschews "travel teams," "select teams," etc., and instead focuses on bread-and- butter fundamentals, teaching, and encouraging as many kids to play as possible. There are several football skills--speed, agility, catching, passing, cutting, body weight training, reactions--that you can teach young kids without putting them in pads and at risk for injury,etc.

    1. Does it say that the 2/3 group will be playing tackle? My guess is Flag (Touch) so that the fundamentals you mention can be the focal point.