Young football players from the Greater Latrobe Area Midget Football Association have the opportunity to play in 2022 after all.
GLAMFA and the Jeannette Midget Athletic Association merged for one season after Latrobe association officials determined it did not have enough players to continue its season safely.
About a third of football players and cheerleaders in the Latrobe area have chosen to switch to the Jeannette program, according to GLAMFA board member Amber Gross. The coaches were also invited to participate in the merged team, which played its first match.
Speaking on behalf of the Latrobe Area Board of Directors, Gross called the one-season merger “an incredible opportunity.”
“These kids had their whole season and their love of the game was unexpectedly taken away from them, and Jeannette gave our kids the opportunity to get that back,” Gross said.
The Latrobe association launched an appeal to interrupt its 2022 season in mid-August. Program parents initially hoped their children could join the Greater Latrobe School District program, but district officials said they could not allow players to join a month and a half late.
After the district turned them down, Latrobe and Jeannette executives met and agreed to a one-season merger, according to JMAA president Dorsey Cox. Both programs are part of the Big East league.
The hosts have provided uniforms for GLAMFA players, but Latrobe players stand out on the pitch with their helmets.
Cox said the players have “integrated well” so far.
“I think we can both grow from (the merger) and learn from each other,” Cox said.
Dan Cooper, Jeannette’s coach for the 9 and 10 year olds, thinks it’s important that the kids at GLAMFA can do what they love and play football this season.
“It was a good thing,” he said. “The children are enthusiastic and ready to play, and the parents have been very helpful.”