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Unity Minor Football back on field for year 15

Unity Minor Football celebrates season 15 although numbers and teams are down.

UNITY — Unity Minor Football program hits the gridiron after a return in 2021, following a one year post pandemic absence in 2020. Last year was the first cessation of the program since its inaugural year in 2007.

UMF is run by volunteer executive and coaches. One of those volunteers has been with the program all 15 years and has not had a child participating in more than 10 years. Jennifer Wilson continues to support this youth sports activity.

The youth sports activity offers youth flag football division for Grades 2 to 6 and the junior tackle division for kids Grades 6 to 8. The season runs from the end of August to typically the weekend before Thanksgiving.

UMF is lauded for being a building block for the senior high Warrior football program at Unity Composite High School as football players come into the high school program already familiar with football fundamentals as well as having experienced tackle football.

Another testament to the heart of volunteers in Unity is Daikota Tanner, who has served as the organization’s president entering his eighth year, coming on board before he even had children involved in the program. Tanner also works on the sidelines as a coach.

“It is unfortunate this year as there are only four teams in the minor football tackle leagues. Our schedule has not yet been complete with some teams pulling out due to coaching shortages,” says Tanner.

Tanner also adds, “I stay involved in this program for the love of football as well as not wanting to see it fade out, and making sure it’s still going strong for when my kids are ready to play. This program is run by a lot of individuals who don't have any kids playing for minor football, but just for the love of the game and community.”

Joey Carriere has come on board the last couple of years assisting Tanner with coaching duties.  He also does not have kids involved in the program but loves football. Tanner acknowledges that without Carriere's help the tackle division may have been in jeopardy.

Wilson acknowledges past help and support of the UCHS Warrior program and players who had helped prepare the field, helped with the booth at games and allowed use of the school and clubhouse for players while also offering occasional coaching and officiating help as well as mentoring players, and hopes these traditions continue. An added tradition is the UMF players enjoying a half-time game during the Friday Night Lights traditional home opener.

Registration numbers are down at present, says Wilson.

UMF alumni and current players and parents say that Wilson has been instrumental in maintaining enthusiasm and interest in the program. Her tireless efforts behind the scenes in both organizing the season, seeking volunteers and keeping the booth open throughout the season have been valuable for the organization.

Wilson is also lauded for being equally involved in the senior Warrior football program, organizing team meals, as well as keeping the booth as an added bonus for home games, although has taken on a more background role in her last son’s senior year with the Warriors. Wilson’s enthusiasm can be heard on the field when home teams are playing.

Stay tuned to the Unity Minor Football Facebook page for all the latest updates and game announcements for the 2022 season.  Unity Minor Football | Facebook


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