Fall is on the way, which means youth football is coming up.

In St. Joseph and the surrounding area, there is a new opportunity to hit the turf and throw the pigskin around. The Kansas City Chiefs have partnered with the YMCA of St. Joseph for flag football.

Registration for the league runs through Aug. 14. Participants will receive exclusive Chiefs jerseys and medals, weekly surprises, special events for families and appearances by special guests.

“It is an opportunity for kids to meet KC Wolf and Kansas City cheerleaders,” Elizabeth Williams, the youth sports coordinator for the YMCA of St. Joseph, said. “It is character-building, as we will be going over the basic fundamentals of football. They will be broken up into teams so they will get teamwork development, plus it will just get everybody outside.”

The cost for camp is $50 for YMCA members and $80 for a community participant. The season runs from Aug. 28 to Oct. 2. There will be weekly practices and games taking place on Saturdays. For this league, ages are restricted to 5 to 12, but the YMCA is putting together a shorter clinic that is separate from the Chiefs flag football partnership.

“I am also running a five-week clinic for 3- and 4-year-olds so they don’t have to sit back and watch their siblings play,” Williams said. “It is a little cheaper as well because they don’t get the reversible chiefs jerseys, but they will be broken up into teams and go over basic fundamentals.”

The clinic will be on Monday nights and will run from Aug. 30 to Sept. 27. Williams knows that kids will be excited to take part in these activities as her own children are participating.

“My kids are really excited,” Williams said. “They have never played, but just the idea of running around and watching football with dad they actually get to participate and I think that is really exciting.”

Williams also said the Chiefs players are good role models, so that helps youth grow their passion for the game and learn to lead by example from the players they watch every Sunday.

To register, visit the Family Campus YMCA at 3601 N Village Dr. or sign up online at stjoymca.org.

Zach Fisher can be reached at zach.fisher@newspressnow.com

Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowFisher

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