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Important AJFL League Announcement

Important AJFL League Announcement

As the country’s oldest in-town football league, the Andover Junior Football League (AJFL) has seen and overcome many obstacles over the years. So as we prepare for the upcoming 2016 season we must once again call upon our ability as a league to adapt and change if we are to meet and overcome today’s newest challenges.

During the past year the AJFL board along with members representing all six of our in-town teams have met regularly to discuss various issues we face today and determine what the best solutions would be to overcome them if we are to remain a viable and vibrant league for years to come.  Most of these challenges are not unique to the AJFL. Youth football leagues throughout the country are facing similar challenges every day.  What is unique to the AJFL is that we are an all in-town league fielding a highly competitive middle school travel team along with 6 in-town teams comprised of both 1 A and 1 B Team.

Throughout the past few years, the AJFL registration has declined steadily.  This seems to coincide with slight changes to the town demographic, which includes a decline in elementary school enrollment.   Combining the demographic change with the ongoing fears of injury and concussion along with competition from other fall sports such as hockey, soccer and fall baseball, it became clear we could no longer sustain this many in-town teams and ensure their competitiveness.

As a result, I am announcing a league consolidation from six in-town teams to four to go into effect for the upcoming 2016 season.  Everyone should know and appreciate this decision was not made or taken lightly.  Throughout the past year the league conducted many highly spirited, highly emotional meetings to discuss this issue.  In the end, we determined that a team reduction was both necessary and in the best interest of everyone including players, coaches, cheerleaders and their families alike.  This decision also ensures that the AJFL is sustainable and will be around for many years to come.  This is not the first time the team count has changed and it won’t be the last.  The AJFL team count has changed several times over the years going from 4 to 7 and now back to 4. It is our ability to change and adapt which makes the AJFL so successful and why it has endured so long.

The team reduction and reallocation of players, coaches and cheerleaders is now complete.  Every effort was made to ensure everyone enjoys a great experience this season and for years to come. Attention to detail was a top priority and every effort made to ensure the team selection process was fair and impartial taking into account coach availability, school location, team needs and any special situations the league was aware of.  In addition, a rule modification extending the playing times for both the A and B teams has also been approved and will be implemented.

Over the next few days, all families will begin to be contacted by their respective coaching staffs to welcome them as we prepare for the upcoming equipment handout and the kickoff of the 2016 season. We will endure this and we will have a fantastic, highly competitive league that is sustainable and goes well beyond teaching the basics of contact football.  As the oldest in-town league we will continue to promote the spirit of competition, enhance the physical and moral training of our players, teach good sportsmanship but most of all everyone will have fun. Should there be any questions or concerns regarding the recent league changes please feel free to reach out to me directly at .  I want to thank everyone for your support and I am looking forward to a tremendous 2016 AJFL Season!

- Ken Aulbach

AJFL President

by posted 08/17/2016
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