History of the Plainsmen Jr. Football League
Plainsmen Junior Football was founded in 1971 by a group of six men who saw the need for a young football program in the growing Shenendehowa Community. Joe Adam, John Boland, John Greenwood, John Halldin, Joe Ierubino and Jim Sharland, discussed ways of forming such a program with Brent Steuerwald, who had assumed the position of director of Athletics at Shenendehowa in 1967, and Brent cautioned, “Let’s not give any boy a bad experience.” This became the league motto and the philosophy on which Plainsmen Junior Football was formulated.
A bad experience, in the minds of the founders, involved anything that left a boy feeling that he was not good enough to participate or that he was not as good as other players in the league, at least in the minds of those responsible for running the league. The founders felt that this philosophy did not coincide with the existing youth football programs and the decision was made to become independent.
In the inaugural season, 120 boys registered and were divided into four teams. In 1972, 280 boys were registered and divided into ten teams. In 1973, the league had tripled in size with 393 boys registered and Plainsmen Junior Football became a three-division, twelve team league. 1974 and 1975 were also years of high registrations with 382 and 365 boys playing. Beginning in 1976 and continuing through 1980, registrations were rather consistent with 340-350 boys playing in the league. From 1980 – 1986 registrations gradually declined. This year there were 250 boys playing in three leagues.
In 1989, we had two first, the use of the varsity field for night games and the Midget division for boys in grades 1-3 playing touch football.
In 1997 we had another first extremely successful First Annual Senior Bown. The four Senior division teams were combined into two teams, the East and West, and played a night game on the varsity field on October 26h complete with announcers and a half-time performance by the Shenendehowa Shendettes.
In these, and many other ways, we have been able to ensure the fulfillment of the League’s goal to provide any boy the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of football and play the game in a safe, controlled environment and, most importantly, to enjoy his experience.
The 2001 season brought another improvement. Our Flag division was split into 2 divisions Jr. Flag to include Kindergarten and 1st grade and the Sr. Flag to include grades 2-3. It was a very successful 1st year with over 150 participants including our first young lady player.
Starting with our 2009 season we moved all our tackle games to the high school’s new turf field.
The 2010 season marks our 40th year of youth football. In 40 years of Plainsmen Junior Football, over 13,000 young people have been able to take advantage of this opportunity.
Our current league President is Fred Darguste.