Youth football league of city kids can use Rayen Stadium at no charge

Youth football league of city kids can use Rayen Stadium at no charge


A youth football league composed of students from the city will be able to use the new Rayen Stadium at no charge, but the same consideration won’t be given to leagues with players from surrounding communities.

The city school board agreed this week to waive fees for youth league championship games that “exclusively target children living in the city of Youngstown,” according to a news release from the school district.

The Volney Rogers Youth Football League, in its 79th season, will be the first youth league to play at the new Rayen Stadium’s Jack Antonucci Field.

The first of three playoff games for the league’s Super Bowl championships is set for 11 a.m. Saturday. Gates open at 10 a.m.

“We have always supported the Volney Rogers Youth Football League,” said Richard Atkinson, school board member, “and these teams have practiced at our schools for many years. We are delighted that the new stadium will directly benefit Youngstown children.”

Last week, the president of the Northeast Ohio Youth Football League said that league would play its super bowl at Cardinal Mooney High School because it couldn’t afford the $2,500 charge to use Rayen. At that time, the district’s athletic director said the district agreed to lower the fee for the Volney League to $1,900.

NEOYFL includes three teams from the city, two from Warren and two from Mercer County.

“The board agreed to let [the Volney Rogers league] have the stadium free of charge to hold their super bowl because they all live in the city of Youngstown,” said Ed Matey, school district athletic director.

The NEOYFL includes players from other areas. Besides the teams from Warren and Mercer County, the three city teams also include players from surrounding suburbs.

Nate Armstrong, president of the NEOYFL, said he’s happy that the Volney league will be able to play at the new stadium free of charge.

The criteria of targeting players from the city excludes the NEOYFL, however. “It’s saying, ‘We don’t care about kids in Warren. We don’t care about kids in Mercer County,” Armstrong said. “We [the NEOYFL] focus on the entire Mahoning Valley.”

While his league’s three city teams include players from other communities, most on the teams attend school in the city. Some attend parochial schools in the city and others, the city schools, he said.

Read more in Wednesday’s Vindicator.