History of the CYFL
The CYFL (Castle Youth Football League Inc.) came into existence and was incorporated in 1974 under the name of N.F.L. (Newburgh Football League) for the purpose of promoting and coaching young boys in a organized junior league football program for Newburgh IN. All information is based on the information from the past minutes of the league. Minutes from the league have been kept since day one. Although minutes from around 1986 – 2002 are missing.
The first year of the N.F.L. saw 51 young men try out for two teams. 25 players on one team and 26 on the other. The team names were the Chargers and the Chiefs. In Aug. 1974, it was recommended that the N.F.L. participate with the Chandler Jr. League. Chandler Jr. League also had two teams. They were the Vikings and the Rams. The Chandler League had practices and games at the Chandler Elementary School, while the N.F.L. had practice and games at the Castle Elementary and the Castle Jr. High. Each league also had various numbers of cheerleaders for their league.
The N.F.L. had a lot of obstacles to over come in the first few years. Restrooms, Concessions, Seating. Equipment Purchase and Storage. The restroom problem was solved by renting port-a- potties. The seating was bring your own chair, but the fans must sit in a roped off area. A booster club was organized to help raise funds for the purchase of equipment and to run the league. They ended up storing the equipment at Shetler Moving and Storage in Evansville.
A set of By-Laws and league play rules were established by the first board members to enhance fair and safety of the players. Some of these rules are still in effect today, others have been changed or modified to today’s game. One rule was that the league would accept applications for their coaches generated from an ad placed in the local papers. A coach once accepted, could not coach his own child whatsoever. The league would only accept 4th – 6th grade players for tackle football. There was no flag or pee wee football at this time. The weight limit was 100 lbs for running the ball, but, if a player over 100 lb was to recover a fumble, intercept a pass, he could advance the ball unlike today’s rule.
The Jr. Bowl, (now Castle Bowl) was held each year after the regular season between the champions from both the N.F.L. and the Chandler Jr. League. There was an admission charge of $3.50
By 1975 the N.F.L increased in size to 100 players and four teams. For a few years most everything stayed the same in the league. The only change was the rule for extra points. It was changed to the way in which it stands today. 2 points for kicking and 1 point for running. A few extra fund raising ideas were discussed. The Brochure (roster book) was going pretty strong. The charge for an ad in the book was $20 - $25.
In May of 1978, Chandler Jr. League made a motion to the N.F.L. to merge together. The motion was denied. There’s a mention of inner league play but I don’t understand why since they were already playing each other. The first actual mention of the Castle Bowl came on Oct 18, 1978. Tickets were $1.00 for adult, .50 for students. 1978 also was the first year that all players got to keep their game jerseys along with the 6th graders who received a plaque.
1979 saw the formation of the Pee Wee League. 60 second and third grade players formed what is now the flag league. It was later determined that if a fourth grade player in tackle was under the weight of 60 lb, he could be placed in the flag league for one more year, upon approval of the board and the players parents.
1980 saw the board approve a rule that girls were allowed to play in the N.F.L. Also a presentation to the Newburgh Parks Board was made by Newburgh Baseball, Soccer and Football leagues combined for what is now Amax Fields. Amax donated this land for the use of a sports complex. There were many people from all leagues involved in getting this enormous project going. By the end of 1980, a lot of progress was accomplished.
By July of 1981, the N.F.L. building was under roof and was ready for electricity. The first season under lights at the new Amax field was underway. There were 6 flag teams for the 1981 season. (Dolphins, Redskins, Broncos, Oilers, Packers, Steelers). Dads were allowed to coach their own child if a non dad wasn’t available.
In Jan 1982 there was discussion of disbanding league play with Chandler Jr. League due to lack of the league meeting its obligations on game day and interaction with the N.F.L.. It was also the idea of the N.F.L. that since the league had grown so much, they could play each other and play more games since they now had lighted fields. It is unsure as to when the two leagues joined. I have heard a few different stories.
In March of 1984 the name CYFL (Castle Youth Football League Inc.) was introduced and adopted. In Jan 1985 the name CYFL became the leagues official name and the Inc. name was also change.
It is unclear about some things between the years of 1986-2002. It is clear that in this time frame that the CYFL had no active board, instead it had a limited few people running the program, and it lost its Incorporation status. It is unclear at this time if the Incorporation was lost between the 1985-86 season or during this time frame. Also during this time, three leagues were formed, flag 1st & 2nd grades, Jr. Tackle 3rd & 4th Graders and Sr. Tackle 5th & 6th Graders.
2003 saw an active board developed once again with renewed goals and ideas. The league facilities, new player equipment, playground and maintenance equipment have all been undertaken over the past few years. The league continues to grow from 16 teams in 2003, to 21 teams and some 110 cheerleaders in 2006. The CYFL Camp has also continued to grow from approx. 80 players in 2004 to 145 in 2006 with no end in sight. With the concerns, ideas and support from the past, present and future parents of the CYFL, the league has a bright future to look forward to, such as new lighting, possible land acquisitions, field upgrades and many more.
2007 the CYFL saw the league grow even bigger by the addition of two teams in flag (Falcons & Cowboys) and two more in Jr. Tackle (Browns & Buccaneers) This brought each of the three leagues to 8 teams. Approx 370 players total for the CYFL. The CYFL also teamed up with the coaching staff of the Castle High School (Coach Doug Hurt) for a combined clinic for grades 1st through 6th in July of each year. The camp has grown bigger and bigger each year. 2009 saw approx 145 campers.
2008 the CYFL raised the playing field. Some 70 tri axle truck loads of dirt was brought in from the construction site of the now new Castle South Middle School. Irrigation and approx 80 tons of sand was added, raising the center crown of play some 18-22 inches making the playing field softer, safer and less muddy.
2009 the CYFL added a six foot fence around its facility to help protect the playing field and concession building from vandalism. The CYFL also was able to purchase approx 115 new helmets when long time supporter of the CYFL Gus Doerner Sports went out of business. The field and fence was made possible with the help of grants from the Ohio Township Trustee, Wal-Mart and from other fund raising events. (T-Shirt, Window Decal Sales).
2010 the CYFL with the help from St. Mary's, Danco Construction, Capital Electric, Mike Joist and a few other, added new lights to the field. It sure made a huge difference. The CYFL would like to thank everyone who had a hand with the new lights.