By GARY BROWN
The Englewood Cats and North Port Huskies will get their first taste of football action Aug. 24 in the Manatee Youth Football Conference (MYFC) jamboree. The preseason games are set for PAL stadium in Bradenton.
The Cats are in the MYFC for the first time after being in Pop Warner for many years. The MYFC is in the American Youth Football League. Englewood has 86 players out for five teams, more than last season.
“We have 10 players on the tiny mites team, but they only play with seven so we are in good shape,” said Cats president Greg Truisi. “And we still might get some more players. Everything looks pretty good so far.”
Last season, the Cats only enough players to field two teams and just one victory on the season, so the increased number of players should help them.
Truisi is the Tiny Mites head coach. Other head coaches are Shane Whitmore for the 14-under team, Ty Copeland with the 12-under, Jason Million for the 10-under and Billy Cruz for the 8-under squad.
One advantage the Cats may have this season is that players don’t have to live in Englewood. Players from other areas can come compete for the Cats.
The Huskies have been one of the top organizations in the conference for many years. This year, they have 84 players out so far, but don’t have a 14-under team yet.
“We still have some players coming out,” said Huskies 10-under head coach and vice president Kevin Palmer. “My team has the most so far with 18 players so far, but I think we can have at least 20 players eventually. School starts Monday and we usually get more players out when that happens.”
Last season, the Huskies won the conference championship in the 14-under division and were second in the 10-under division.
Both teams advanced to the regionals.The Bradenton Gladiators were the strongest overall organization in the conference last season.
and could be again this year.
The regular season will begin two weeks later.
, but the opponents and schedules haven’t been completely decided yet.