By Gina Martinez
Whitepoint Youth Football and Cheer will be hosting its opening day in honor of local first responders.
The all-day event Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. will be held at Flushing Memorial Field, located at Willets Point Boulevard, between 149th and 150th streets. The occasion is being held in honor of local first responders, including NYPD, FDNY, EMS and members of the military.
The Youth Football and Cheer is an in-house football and cheer league for kids ages 5-14.
Whitepoint League President John McArdle said the league teaches a safer form of football called Heads-Up Football, a safety program from USA Football that focuses on a more comprehensive, sportmanship-oriented approach to play the game. McArdle said that at Whitepoint safety comes first for the players on the field and that the The Heads-Up Football program allows parents to feel confident their children will be safe when on the field. He added that he hopes, as the league continues to grow, it can change the perception that football is unsafe.
“This event is important because it’s the beginning of the football season,” he said. “The sport of football has taken a lot of beating in the media, especially because of the rise in head injuries. The way we coach the game, it makes it a great family environment. Parents who come always stay after their kids’ game and watch the other games. This event is great for the community. There will be a lot of sponsors. It’s really a tribute to our local first responders and military who make it possible for us to play.”
Whitepoint has been in the community for more than 10 years. It combines two Whitestone and College Point football clubs — DG Youth Football and College Point Youth Football — and offers a boys’ tackle football program in the fall and co-ed flag football in the spring. In addition to the tackle and flag football programs, Whitepoint also has a cheerleading squad during both seasons.
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