CLARK, NJ - Clark Youth Football recently completed their second season since returning to Clark and Garwood. According to Gus Kalikas, it was a huge success with three levels competing in the NJ Suburban Youth Football League.
Kalikas said the league was formed in 1972 in effort to provide additional opportunities for boys to participate in contact football that may have been excluded from other programs due to weight and age restrictions in existing programs.
Since its inception, the program has grown and now affords more than 4,500 boys and girls an opportunity to participate in youth football and cheerleading programs
This year, Clark Youth Football had A Level (8th Grade), B Level (7th Grade) and C Level (6th Grade) teams competing throughout the season. Kalikas shared some highlights of the year.
“In only our second year back in the communities of Clark and Garwood, all three levels made the NJSYFL playoffs. Our C Level team (6th Grade) defeated Bloomfield in a first-round playoff game before losing to a very tough Summit squad in the semifinals,” he said. “Our A Level team (8th Grade) overcame many obstacles this year and made the playoffs where they matched up against defending champion Bloomfield. Although they lost a very tough game, A Level battled to the end and has a bright future ahead of them as they enter high school next year.”
Kalikas continued, “Our B Level team entered the playoffs at 6-0 and in first place in their division. After handling Perth Amboy in the NJSYFL Semifinals they found themselves in a rematch of a tough regular season game against rival West Orange,” he said. “In the regular season, Clark B Level had to score a last-minute touchdown late in the game to win. No such drama would be needed in the Championship game as B Level raced out to a 26-0 lead before winning by a final score of 26-12.”
All three levels gave up their evenings three to four times each week to practice with their teams according to Kalikas. “Above all the wins and losses was the camaraderie formed amongst teammates and the values of hard work and sportsmanship that were taught throughout the season,” he said.
Clark Youth Football is gearing up for their third year in the Fall 2021. Registration opens on Sunday, February 7, 2021. Sign up here.