Football is an expensive sport to play. Between the equipment, the insurance, and the numerous safety regulations many rural schools have made the choice to not offer football as a fall sport. However, a group of people in Otsego County decided to make a football league on their own. It all started two years ago, and as YNN's Cara Thomas tells us, the team is looking for more players in the league.
LAURENS, N.Y. -- For one group of kids in Otsego County, the Tri-Valley Colts is more than just a football team, it's a family.
"A lot of these kids, this is their family. They come from a lot of broken homes so this is their family. This is who they are, they have a place to go to and people they belong to," said Mindy Sparaco, organizer of the Tri-Valley Colts
Two years ago, the Tri-Valley Colts in the town of Laurens, and a team in Richfield Springs created a not-for-profit league called the Boys of Fall Football League. It provides an opportunity for boys and girls, ages 8 to 18 to play a sport that isn't offered locally.
"I grew up watching football for the NFL and I just didn't think I was going to get the opportunity to play and then I saw that they made the Division 3, Division 4 teams and the opportunity came up so I was really excited that I got to play," said Mitchell Carrigan, a football player.
"This isn't just a school team it's like all the areas around can just play. So I met everyone here and made a lot of friends," said Michael Miller, a football player.
The Boys of Fall Football League has made it possible for anyone to participate. Last year, the league raised more than $30,000 to provide all of their athletes with the proper padding, helmets, and equipment.
Coach John Carrigan said, "It can get expensive real fast and we don't want that to inhibit a kid being able to play or not play. So that's what this is designed for."
The kids practice five days per week and play the other league team three weekends each month. And while the Tri-Valley Colts say they don't mind playing the Richfield Springs team every weekend, they said a little variety would be nice.
"We just want to let everybody know that we're here. And that if anybody wants to contact us, we'll do the best we can to help you out and give these kids an opportunity to play more teams hopefully," said Coach Carrigan.
It's never too late to join the team. The Tri-Valley Colts say they are always looking forward to bringing more people into their family.
For more information on the Boys of Fall Football League or to learn how to get involved go to the Tri-Valley Colt's Facebook Page.