On this week's Coffee Chat, Manchester Youth Football League president Lawrence Phillips talks about the MYFL, the 2019 season and how to increase community involvement with the league.
Phillips has been involved with the league for 11 years. He began as a coach, then joined the MYFL board seven years ago. Phillips has been MYFL President for two years.
What is the goal/mission of the league?
It's to get more kids into football and try to improve the uppers. Make the middle school better, make the high school better.
What is the most satisfying part of working with the league?
Just seeing the joy on the kids' faces, the players and the cheerleaders. They're learning to love the game. Everybody that comes through us loves it. We have very few quit and most of them go on to middle school.
Me and my buddies have coached this group that's the [CHS] freshmen now that are looking really good.
How has the 2019 season gone so far?
The five-six-seven's are 3-0. The eight-nine's are 2-1 and the 10-12's are 3-0. We're in association with the Southern Middle Tennessee Youth Football Association. We have ten teams, ten communities in that.
Anything new this year/are there any upcoming plans?
We've got new helmets and we've got new shoulder pads. We run a pretty good concession stand, so we try to put money back into the league to try to improve it any way we can.
With football such a large part of the community across multiple levels, could the MYFL benefit from increased parent/community involvement?
Oh, definitely. If anybody wants to help, we have to clean up the field, we have to stripe the field. Part of the deal of getting to use the field is we help stripe it so that it's ready for the high school and the middle school and of course for us when we're gonna use it.
Volunteers in the concession stand are always welcome. The only time we've hosted so far this year, most of the freshman team came and helped out.
How do you think you can increase parent/community involvement?
Maybe just let them know that we do accept volunteers. We ask for volunteers and sometimes we get them, sometimes we don't. We do a lot of work, but we have some people sometimes that jump in and help too.
Where can our readers get information on how to get involved?
They just need to either call me at 931-952-3136, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How would you describe the importance of the MYFL?
We're the future of Coffee County football. It's already better and the new coach sees that what has come through MYFL is a better product than some of the ones he already has and a lot of them didn't play in MYFL.
They know more, they've been taught more.