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Youth Football Kicked Out of League

Ridgefield Youth Football can no longer be affiliated with the Candlewood Valley League or its parent organization, American Youth Football.

Ridgefield Youth Football has been removed from the American Youth Football Association after some RYF members tried to start a new league.

Lawrence Finnegan, a board member of the Candlewood Valley League, which just removed Ridgefield from its ranks, sent a letter to RYF dated Jan. 30. The Candlewood Valley League includes teams from Fairfield County and New York State.

"It has come to the attention of the CVL Executive Board that in recent weeks people associated with RYF, either directly or through agents acting on your behalf, are contacting teams, organizations and national leagues both in and out of CVL seeking to leave CVL and form a new league outside of CVL involvement ... Effective immediately RYF, as is constituted now, its teams, football and cheerleading, coaches and board members are no longer affiliated with AYF or CVL," the letter read.

Finnegan declined to comment beyond his letter.

An AYF media contact did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday evening, and e-mails sent to multiple RYF members have yet to be returned by someone willing to comment.

Prior to the dismissal, Ridgefield representatives had contacted AYF National Football Commissioner Bill Brown to ask about forming a new league, according to e-mail correspondence between Brown and John Lehaney, who coached one of the fourth grade teams in the fall. The e-mails were forwarded to Ridgefield Patch.

Brown's e-mail indicated that Ridgefielders approached Newtown, also in the Candlewood Valley League, as well as Wilton, New Canaan and Fairfield, which are all in the Fairfield County Football League and not part of AYF.

"It is the experience of AYF that most associations seeking to form a new conference away from the one they currently belong to is generally the result of being disciplined or some adult conflicts or issues," Brown wrote.

"AYF will not be granting RYF the right to form a new AYF affiliated conference. Please do not reference AYF in any discussion you may have with any other football organization as we grant you no authority to speak on our behalf," he wrote.

The removal could affect as many as 300 Ridgefield kids who participate on nine football teams and four cheerleading squads, if they can no longer compete against their former league-mates.

In December, the Ridgefield Raiders eighth grade team came in third place in the American Youth Football national championships in Florida under the guidance of coach Mike Scalzo, and one of the town's fifth grade teams won the CVL championship.

The Division 13 cheerleaders attended the regional championships, and the Division 11 cheerleaders won first place in the national  competition in Florida in December.

dodo dododo February 05, 2010 at 01:04 PM
hope they can work it out
Eliott Spitzer February 14, 2010 at 01:56 PM
whats left of RYF Board have brought John Pavain back as President over the weekend...can he get us out of this mess?...can he work this out with Scalzos?
Hammer M. Awll March 30, 2010 at 04:31 AM
Did the Scalzo's force RYF out of CVL to Hijack the board? If you don't have a child in the program you should not be allowed to participate at the board level? This is what happens when you don't have children in the program. NO CHILD IN THE PROGRAM-YOU CANNOT BE ON THE BOARD PERIOD! Who seconds the motion? Support RYF and our children, not strong armed, good old boys politics! Stay safe and God Bless America! HMA PS Has anyone seen the CVL Bylaws
HA April 21, 2011 at 05:47 AM
I was just wondering, WHY haven't the other board (RFCL) with there perfect little world make any headlines when they got kicked out of AYF? Why haven't there been any meetings as what they are going to do, or are the going keep passing out the koolaid... Amazing how when the tide turn against you, you want to keep it quit as possible so know one brings it up. I also geuss the they had the thread shut down from last year, getting a little to close to the truth? don't want everyone finding what you did? You "Screwed the Pooach) and AYF has been cakking, sending letter of appopoges, that they were "Hoodwinked" by the other bunch of idiots. Didn't know that it was that bad? And to make matters worse, they have started there registration process with no afiliation with another league. They still REFUSE to work with the high school football staff, they REFUSE to follow their formations and hole assignment. ( RYF boys won't have a problem with that) RYF did all of this, so now when the two groups get started in the 9th grade program, RYF boys will be fine and ready to go, those Junior Tigers are going to need all the help, they'll be behind right off the start. But don't worry, your team parents will be all over it by saying it ok, where one again, and give me your money for the booster club, over priced clothing and bags they won't be needing, we have them already. they should have went away when they had 1 and 1/2 team for football, and thank god for the cheer squard.
HA April 21, 2011 at 05:54 AM
Oh, I all mist forgot, fields, didn't they needed 4 teams with 50 players total signed up to get field space. Last year they got a 1 time exemption due to a new start up league. We'll see how they do their smoke and mirrors routine to get thru on fictitious names, cheer leaders can be counted either.

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