By Cary Shuman
A Lynn youth football coach is launching a new, off-season youth league that is set to begin in February.
Joel Machado, a coach in the East Lynn Pop Warner organization, said the first-year program will be called the New England Youth Tackle Football League (NEYT) and will be conducted at indoor and outdoor venues in Lynn from February 27, 2018 to July 15, 2018.
Players ages 5 (60-pound minumum) to 14 (eighth grade) are eligible to participate in the league.
Machado said the league is not affiliated with the Pop Warner organizations in Lynn or the Lynn Chargers. “Our only affiliation is USA Football,” he said.
The 36-year-old Machado, who grew up in the Dominican Republic and is a 1999 Tech graduate, is the league president. Members of the board of directors are his wife, Karen Machado, Domingo Guillen, John Raye, Emmanuel Gonzalez, Leanne MacKenzie Story, John Rye, Lennin Pena, Leo Cirineo, and Kandi Prenttiss.
“The founders of New England Youth Tackle Football (NEYT) created the league as a place where children of all ages and abilities can learn about the sport of football while having fun,” Machado said in a statement sent to the Lynn Journal. “The emphasis is on providing an environment that allows children access to the sport year round. Central to our mission is to provide more playing time, a learning environment for coaches and lowering the cost of participation in the sport.”
The program will consist of eight weeks of football safety and conditioning, four weeks of football introduction, and eight weeks of games. The fee of $190 (for the first 100 signups) entitles participants to uniforms and equipment.
Machado has two sons and several nephews who participate in youth football in the city.
“Some parents and I got together and decided to get the ball rolling on this new league,” said Machado. “We’re so excited about the response to our efforts.”