NORWICH – After 40 years of being a part of the Tri-Valley Pop Warner League, the Norwich Football Cyclones are leaving to join the Southern Tier Youth Football League.
On April 20, the Norwich Cyclones organization announced the move for both the football and cheerleading programs and will be starting the new league in the 2020 season.
“First and foremost, we want to thank the Tri-Valley Pop Warner League for their support and our relationship for over the last 40 years,” stated the Cyclones’ board on their Facebook page, Norwich Cyclones Football.
The post further stated, “The Cyclones’ Board of Directors evaluated all opportunities for our youth and their families that align with our mission as an organization, and we are confident that the decision to join a new league will serve our current players and cheerleaders this year and for years to come.”
The jump to the new league will bring changes to the Cyclones program.
There will now be two full-contact teams for kids in grades three through six – the B-Team for third and fourth and the A-Team for fifth and sixth graders – and one flag football team that will be made up of first and second graders.
In the new league, players will be assigned by grade level only. In the past with the Pop Warner league, there were weight limits in place based on age and grade level. Kids were weighed in prior taking the field before each game on Sundays. This will no longer take place as there are no weight restrictions with the Southern Tier Youth Football league.
“With this change to a new league, a kid won’t be left behind because of his or her weight,” said Cyclones’ Board President Brian Burton. “This is exciting for us as we will never have to turn a kid away.”
The same age brackets will apply to the cheer program as well.
Another change that will be taking place is that home games will be played on either Saturday or Sundays and will be relocated to the Norwich High School Field.
While many memorable plays and games have been taken place at Alumni Field on the grounds of Perry Browne Intermediate School over the years, the organization is excited that the younger players will have the opportunity to play on the big field where the high school athletes they watch on Friday nights compete.
This adjustment of location also provides the potential for games to be played under the lights.
The Southern Tier Football league also brings a host of new teams within the Section IV region, allowing the Cyclones players – or the Purple Tornado of the future – the chance to playing against most of the same school districts we play at the middle school and high school level.
“I think this is good move for the Cyclones and Norwich Football as a whole,” said Purple Tornado Football head coach Mike Chrystie. “Kids will have the chance to play against and be able to familiarize themselves with their opponents that they will see for many years. This is a great, long-term benefit for the future of the Purple Tornado football program.”
“We are really excited as embark on this new journey in a new league,” said Burton. “We are looking forward to becoming a part of the Southern Tier Youth Football league as it is a program within the Section IV region, which allows our young athletes the opportunity to compete against the same students in other programs for years to come.”
Due to the current social distancing restrictions in place, the ability to hold an in-person registration day for the season unavailable at this time. The organization is asking parents to sign-up by going to www.cognitoforms.com/Cyclones1/norwichcyclones2020 so they can get an idea of player and cheerleader interest.
The Board of Directors encourages those who are curious about the Southern Tier Youth Football league to visit the club’s website at www.styfc.org to learn more.
If you have any questions regarding the changes or questions about the registration process, contact Brian Burton (607)-244-4549 or Board Vice President Julia Miller, (607) 316-7498.