Monterey County

New tri-county youth football league focuses on safety first

New youth football league gets state of the art gear

A new youth football league based in Watsonville says it's putting safety first.

The Tri-County Youth Football and Cheer League says its more than 100 players are using new helmets with shock-absorbing technology. This move comes in light of growing national concern about head injuries on the football field.

Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law that would restrict middle- and high school football practices in which students tackle each other. The California law is among the latest U.S. efforts to minimize brain injuries from the popular sport.

The measure, which limits practices with full-on tackling during the playing season and prohibits them during most of the off-season.

The Tri-County Youth League says its coaches went through extensive safety training before he start of season.

League organizers say they want the focus to be less on winning at all costs and instead on promoting good sportsmanship and citizenship.

The Tri-County Sharks practice at St. Francis High School in Watsonville.

Their first game is Saturday, Aug. 30.

Students from Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties can participate in the league, which even has a Tiny Mite (ages 5-7) division.

For more information or to contact the league, visit their website.

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