KINGMAN - With the Kingman Cobras Pop Warner football team dissolving, the Kingman Youth Football League has decided to make changes to accommodate players this fall.
The program will now allow third-graders, and sixth-graders can no longer participate. Those in sixth grade can play middle school football instead.
"I know there is a lot of uncertainty with the Cobras not doing their thing," said KYFL board member Joe Juelfs. "I just wanted to let people know that their kids can play and to reassure the parents of sixth-graders that they are going to be going into the middle school and it's not going to be sixth grade against eighth grade."
Cecilia Stiles, certification director of the Colorado River Pop Warner Conference, said that despite the Cobras' decision to fold, there will be Pop Warner football in Kingman under a new name - the High Desert Rattlers.
"There are still a lot of kids that want to be a part of the program regardless of what the adults are doing," Stiles said. "We have to start from scratch again, but we believe that we will be up and running on Aug. 1 when practice starts.
"Both KYFL and Pop Warner are good programs for the community. We do different things, but the same thing, and that's helping the youth."
Juelfs, who also coaches football at White Cliffs Middle School, said the middle schools are going to have two teams, an A team and a B team. The A team will consist of eighth-graders and some seventh-graders, while the B team will be made up of sixth-graders and the rest of the seventh-graders.
"I wanted to make sure the parents know that the sixth-graders are not going to be tackling the eighth-graders every day," Juelfs said.
The changes in sixth-grade eligibility only involve the football portion of the KYFL. The cheerleading part will be open to those in third grade through sixth grade.
Last year, KYFL had close to 210 participants. With these changes, Juelfs hopes to attract more kids at a younger age and help develop the next generation of Kingman High Bulldogs, Kingman Academy Tigers and Lee Williams Volunteers.
"We are trying to grow. We want to grow and get the littler kids involved," Juelfs said. "We want to get more kids more playing time so by the time they get to high school, they will be ready to play."
KYFL signups for the 2013 season will take place at 5 p.m. Aug. 15 at Firefighter's Park.