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Mokena Adds Youth Football Team to River Valley League

The new Mokena Junior Griffins will offer youth football for children in a heavier weight class than currently offered by the Mokena Burros.

Football fans, meet the Mokena Junior Griffins.

On Feb. 25 and March 3, registration will be held at the for a new Mokena youth football team.

The new team was not designed to compete with the Mokena Burros, but to offer an alternative for kids too big for the Burros' weight classes, Coach George Metanias said. Lower weight classes and cheer will also be offered.

The Junior Griffins will be in the River Valley Youth Football League, the home of such teams as the Frankfort Falcons, the New Lenox Junior Knights, the New Lenox Junior Warriors and the Orland Wolves.

"There are a lot of kids in Mokena if they're heavier than what the Burros offer, they go in Frankfort," said Metanias, who coached for the Burros for 15 years. "We want to make it so they can stay in Mokena and play in Mokena."

In the Southwest Midget Football League that regulates teams for the Burros, the heaviest weight class is the Varsity Heavyweight class where 13 and 14 year olds can weigh up to 170 pounds.

But by the River Valley League rules, 12- to 14-year-old Varsity class players in the Striper and Double Striper categories can weigh up to 225 pounds.

Stripers and Double Stripers have different rules for play and can only play certain positions in order to keep things fair for the smaller children. Their helmets are marked with large, visible stripes.

No more than three Stripers or Double Stripers are allowed on the field at the same time and there can never be more than one Double Striper on the field.

Although providing a place for the heavier Varsity students to play was one of the major reasons the organizers set up the Junior Griffins, they will also offer Junior Varsity, Lightweight and Super Lightweight teams, as well as two flag football teams and cheer.

Metanias said this will help parents so they don't have to ferry different children to different groups.

"You'll be able to go to one place and be able to take care of everything," he said.

george Jung January 26, 2012 at 07:42 PM
People do you hear that... Its the violins playing on the Burros Titanic.
KevIn Malroney January 28, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Hopefully they get it right. Unlike what the burros are doing
Linda Dean February 18, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Thank Goodness!!! I was going to sign my Grandson up with Pop Warner...now we have an alternative program. Heard some not too good things about the Burros!
George Paulson, III February 29, 2012 at 03:43 PM
OK, wait a minute.....did Mr. Metanias not just say above that it is an "we are not here to compete with the Burros, but give them an alternative choice"?? Why is everyone so down on the Burros??? An organization, like any others, will have problems. Get through them and move on. I welcome the Jr. Griffins to Mokena IF they are what they claim to be. It's great that the heavier kids can play. It's great to have a choice. Just please don't come here thinking that you are better than anyone else. You haven't even taken the field............ Good luck to all.
CV March 11, 2012 at 04:14 PM
We were about to go Pop Warner too after 3 dissappointing seasons with the frankfort Wildcats. Talk about overcrowding and favoritism to coaches kids. The Square was notorious for that. The coaches there have a pact between them and make sure their kids are the Running Backs and Quarter Backs. And there were 6 coaches per team. My Son was getting so frustarted that he was at a point where he didn't want to play anymore. The starters on the teams in the Square are chosen day 1 of practice before the kids even get on the field. The second string kids do not even play on Saturdays when the games count. Unless there is at least a 4 TD lead. What a joke. So obvious of there intentions. I know 4 families that left Frankfort Square Wildcats because of the Favoritism. Go Jr. Griffins!!!

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