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City of Wichita postpones 2020 Youth Football

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 10:45 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The City of Wichita Park and Recreation department announced Tuesday that it is postponing the youth football program for the fall of 2020, with tentative plans to hold the program in the spring of 2021.

The City of Wichita is following Sedgwick County recommendations regarding playing football and close contact sports. The safety of the players, parents and staff are paramount, said the city.

”We are sorry that we have to postpone this year’s season,” said Park and Recreation Directory Troy Houtman. “Ensuring we can keep our participants safe is our number one priority, and we look forward to when we can host our youth football players safely again.”

Details on the spring season will be released as plans are updated. While in person activities are limited, the City of Wichita Park and Recreation has launched online activities, workouts and eSports leagues in order to continue to serve the community. Residents can access the site at wichita.gov/parkandrec/online.

Tuesday, Eyewitness News spoke with players and coaches about the city’s decision. Players with the Wichita Cowboys said they couldn’t believe the news their coaches delivered.

“He was like, football season is canceled,‘” Cowboys player and Wichita Public Schools seventh-grader Sebastian Turner said. “And we all didn’t believe him because, you know, we all been joking around.”

Turner said his team is “really good,” third in the nation, in fact. But he said what’s more important than trophies is what the game brings to their lives.

“If you like were a bad kid or anything, it helps you get away from that, takes your mind off of trying to like go do something bad,” he said.

Cowboys coach A.J. Bohannon said more than the game, the season postponement takes away life-learning opportunities for his players this fall.

“It’s not just a sport that you’re taking away, so many different aspects of life,” Bohannon said. “You’re taking away the opportunity for him to be up underneath leaders such as myself and my coaching staff, and so many other coaches in this town that give to these kids daily. “You’re taking all of that away, so it’s not just a game that’s been taken away. It’s life in general.”

With the Wichita season postponed, the Cowboys will now travel to other states to play. Turner said he’ll miss playing in front of his friends and family. He said he hopes he’ll be able to score more touchdowns for his team in the spring.

Players said the heartbreaking news won’t keep them from having fun with teammates they see as brothers.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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