After years of continual hard work in Mansfield & Hackett Little League Football, both programs have taken yet another step towards improving Football as a whole in their respective towns. The Mansfield Little League Tigers & Hackett Little League Hornets have joined a newly created football league called the Western Central Little League Football (WCFL).
This new league is the brainchild of Magazine Head Coach, Doug Powell, and Mountainburg Head Coach, Harrell who put in many hours of planning and footwork for this idea to take off.
The leagues purpose is to produce a more competitive atmosphere for the schools involved by facing opponents with a more equal talent level, size, and number of players. By giving every teams a competitive chance to play an opponent more their equal, the teams will be more apt to build confidence in the young players, help grow their programs, and a love for the game.
Although this season’s teams and schedule is set, other teams have also expressed interest in joining the WCFL in the future.
What happens in Little League can have a positive or negative effect in the future of the sport for High School programs. Knowing this, Little League Football Presidents Josh Strozier (Mansfield), and Dave Slavens (Hackett) consulted with their High School counterparts prior to making the move.
High School Coaches from both of the teams were excited with the opportunity for their Little Leagues to play in a more competitive & equal league.
Mansfield Tigers High School Head Coach, Craig Bentley said “As a school program, we are really excited about the new conference formed for our Little League. It levels the playing field & gets kids competing with the same type of circumstances that we are facing. It will do nothing but benefit the kids, parents, & coaches for years to come & by the time the kids get to us, we expect it to help grow our numbers & success. GO RED TIGERS.”
Hackett Hornets High School Head Coach, Lonnie Hester added “We just want to give our kids the opportunity to compete on a level that is realistic with our numbers. We don’t have our High School kids playing larger teams, so why would we expect our younger kids to do so? We think this will level the playing field. I want what is best for our guys & I think this league offers that. I want our little league guys to know they are important because that’s our future. GO HORNETS.”
As for the local teams of Hackett & Mansfield, this move will renew an old 3A rivalry that was strong in the 1990’s.
Both teams will play each other twice a year annually, with the first game being more of a practice game whereas the second game will count towards the league record, bragging rights, and have agreed to put a Rivalry Trophy on the line.
Two Rivalry trophies will be made for the 3rd & 4th Grade team & the 5th & 6th Grade team. The winner of each trophy will be able to place the trophy(s) in their respective school for bragging rights until it is put on the line again the following season.
Teams from Little League though High School are working hard bringing football pride back to our local towns. So let’s repay the players, coaches, and programs as a whole by showing as much support as possible for their hard work & effort. It’s time to paint the towns again in Pride.