BY ERIC IKPE
(March 20, 2012)-Just recently, the City of Miami Gardens awarded the National Youth Football League of America-Florida Youth Football League the five Miami Gardens programs in both football & cheer. The addition of these programs quickly shifts the powers of youth football, recognizing the Flo-Rida Youth Football League as one of the premiere competitive leagues.
“We met back in January and conducted our presentation and they were impressed,” NYFL Miami Chapter President Mike Francis said.” We knew that the inner city needed funds, and they explained how to have Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance involved, but we did not want to just sell inner-City, we wanted to widen the spectrum and reach kids in all walks of life.”
The Florida Youth Football League kicks off its inaugural year with 15 programs within the Dade & Broward counties, with possibility of adding more prior to the kick off the 2012 youth football season.
“We had a vision; Al Brown, Brandon Bivens, and myself heard about teams leaving the league that we were previously in, and we wanted to prevent that,” said Martin Maultsby of the FYFL. “We just wanted to incorporate our vision with their vision, and walk hand in hand.”
“We understood youth football needed a new direction for both the youth athletes and the volunteers. We sat to the table, created something special, and now this is just the beginning”, said Martin Maultsby.
Jimmy Montez, president of the Swabjaa Cyclones said, “I haven’t been this excited about youth football since 1984 when I was appointed as a football commissioner for the very first time. This movement has caused excitement all over South Florida, and with recent additions of the Miami Gardens programs, we hope other organizations will take advantage of this great opportunity.”
The following organizations have committed to participating in South Florida’s newest youth football league under the national umbrella of the National Youth Football League of America; the Flo-Rida Youth Football League:
- Ft. Lauderdale Hurricanes
- N.W. Broward Raiders
- Ft. Lauderdale Falcons
- Swabjaa Cyclones
- Athletic Rattlers
- Carol City Chiefs
- Lauderdale Lakes Eagles
- Broward Seahawks
- Pompano Tigers
- Northside Panthers
- Miami Gardens Ravens
- Miami Gardens Vikings
- Miami Gardens Cowboys
- Miami Gardens Bulldogs
- Miami Gardens Rams
“It’s not easy running a program, I ran a program for [Fifteen] years, and one needs the necessary funds to run an organization,” Martin Maultsby said. “I thank God for Luther Campbell and Flo-Rida being involved, and when you have Corporate America you can accomplish a lot of great things. Strong Arm-IMG and the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance truly assisted in bringing this vision to fruition.”
In an earlier interview with international rap star, Flo-Rida said, “Our vision has always been to reach and impact kids beyond the game of football. This league will be vehicle to inspire and motivate our next generation.”
Flo-Rida also said, “I’ve been blessed to be able to reach millions of people across this globe, but nothing is more important than taking care of home, get ready for the Flo-Rida Youth Football League, it’s going to be special.”
The announcement of the Miami Gardens programs joining the Florida Youth League has sent a buzz around the entire youth sports community. This buzz reached down to the grid iron of the Northside Panthers who have been a corner stone in the SFYFL for decades.
Terry Joseph, Northside Panthers president said, “We wanted to do what we felt was best for the Northside community. There were a lot of factors that went into our decision, and at the end of the day we feel joining the FYFL will be the best fit for the Panther nation.”
“Robert Mellerson, Luther Campbell, Charlie Brown, Sheila Richardson and Fred Wilson of the NYFL all played an intricate part and developing a Broward chapter of the National Youth Football America,” Mike Francis said.
Mike also said, “Martin Maultsby has a very special group and has great backing from Flo-Rida and Lee “Freezy” Prince of IMG, who truly continues to invest back in the kids in their community. This was a perfect fit with our ethics, goals, and long term vision of the National Youth Football League of America.