North Suburban Youth Football League
History of the League
In the late summer of 1962, Little League Football came to the Northland Area of Kansas City, Missouri in the form of a 7th & 8th grade team to be known as the Northland Midgets. This team was formed and coached by Don Roberts, Chuck Weber, Russ Stupps and Don Golden. Two weeks later, another 7th & 8th team was formed under the name of the Gladstone Gladiators. The Gladiators were organized and coached by Bill Kelso.
The first ball game played by the Midgets was with another independent team, the Muncie Kansas Raiders, in which the Midgets pounded the Raiders 60-0. After a very successful first season both the Midgets and the Gladiators entered into what was known as the "Clay County Bowl". At this time the Midgets were 8-1 and the Gladiators were 6-1-1. The Midgets defeated the Gladiators 6-0 in a hard fought game. Highlights during the early years saw the Midgets beat the Nebraska State Champs in 1963 by a score of 13-7.
In 1964, a new 7th & 8th grade league was formed of 8 teams from both the north and south side of the Missouri River. Later that year, the Boys Town Nebraska State Champs played against the Midgets and were defeated 26-13.
In 1966, a 5th & 6th grade level team, the Swift Dodgers, were formed as an independent team and the following year a 5th & 6th grade division was formed with 4 teams, 2 from each side of the river. The other Northland 5th & 6th Grade team was the Chezik Chiefs.
In January of 1970, seeing the need for future expansion of Little League Football in the fast growing Northland area, seven men representing six teams got together and drafted the constitution and by-laws of a new league, to be known as the Suburban Boys Football League. The seven men were Don Roberts, Ray Heath, Hobart Mason, Toby Carpenter, John Croucher, and Dale Hadley. These men worked throughout the year and on September 9, 1970 put the league into operation with a fee of $125.00 per team. A total of 8 7th & 8th grade level teams played that first year with the Northland Midgets becoming the 1970 Champs and the Gladstone Gladiators the runner ups.
In the spring of 1971, the 5th & 6th grade teams of the city wide league, under the direction of Chuck Weber, merged with the Suburban Boys Football League and by-laws were revised for two divisions with Dale Hadley as Commissioner, Don Roberts as 7th & 8th Representative, Chuck Weber as 5th & 6th Grade Representative, Ray Heath as Secretary and Bernie Owens as Treasurer.
The league continued to grow during the 70's and 80's with 9 teams in each grade level with 15 of the 18 being from North of the river in 1982. However things soon took a turn for the worst, the league's growth slowdown drastically during the mid 80's with other activities becoming more appealing for young boys and with the unbalance of power the league fell to 5 teams in each grade level. As the 80's came to a close, league sizes began to grow again, however change was on the brink if the league was to continue to exist.
After the 1990 season, league officials including Dave Clevenger, Bob Boydston, Ben Dusenberry, Tom Salmon and Kenny Beck took a new approach, to both the governing of the league, roster size, and practice time. The roster sizes were reduced from 40 & 45 to 24 & 28, with practice time cut from 5 nights a week to 3 nights a week after the season started. Later, the board was reduced in size and a committee type of governing was set up and has been very productive ever since. At that time, they also set up a league for the 3rd & 4th Grade players with most organizations now having 3 teams, one for each grade level. The league has grown in the past decade, with 34 teams now participating in the North Suburban Youth Football League.
In the 21st Century, the influx in new young head coaches has begun to shift the balance of power and create a more competitive league. New organizations continue to request membership in the league commenting that the league's leadership, playing facilities, officiating, and caliber of football is an enticement for teams from Peculiar to St. Joe to apply to play in the NSYFL. A competent NSYFL Board of Directors has helped gain the city's help to put together some of the finest playing facilities in the area including the new NSYFL complex at Pleasant Valley Park which was a 50/50 grant between the city of Kansas City and the NFL to the NSYFL.
NSYLF makes history by adding a 4th division. Flag Football was introduced to players in 1st and 2nd grades. This addition to the league added over 200 players to the league in just its first year.
Year after year players from the NSYFL have gone on to excel at the high school level.
NSYFL continues to evolve and make improvements to their organizational structure. A revised set of league by-laws were ratified, that essentially established an Executive Board made up of six elected officers and three organization representatives. The elected officers agree to serve a three year term, with two board positions coming up for election each year. The organization representatives serve a one year term and are rotated throughout the league organizations.
The first Executive Board consisted of Dean Prather - President, Alan Heyne - Secretary, David Clevenger - Treasurer, Tom Lamb - Tackle Coordinator, Wayne Orr - Flag Coordinator, Randy Hall - At Large Member, Lindy Evans - Chargers, Ben Cardello - Giants and Bryan Campbell - Parkville Vikings.
2011 also brought about the first time the Championship Games were split over two nights. The 5/6 grade tackle and 7/8 grade tackle played under the lights on Friday, November11 and the 3/4 grade tackle and Flag teams played under the lights on Saturday, November 12. All games were played at the District Football Stadium at North Kansas City High School (DFS).