CAYFL football, JCP soccer leagues cancel seasons

Staff Writer
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
The Ridgeley Rams and Cumberland Patriots battle in CAYFL action last season.
Tribune photo by Chapin Jewell

By Chapin Jewell

Tribune Correspondent

On Wednesday, Aug. 5, the JCP Soccer League announced the cancellation of their fall season.  On Thursday, Aug. 6, the Cumberland Area Youth Football League announced the cancellation of their seasons.  The cancellations are directly related to concerns, stipulations and regulations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the JCP formal announcement, the vote of the JCP Association to cancel the season was unanimous. According to the Cumberland Area Youth Football League’s announcement, the vote for cancellation was a close 4-3 decision of the league’s seven teams.

The JCP and CAYFL cancellations will have a direct effect on Mineral County youths as participation in both leagues and in both sports was heavy.  

In the JCP league, the Frankfort Area JCP organization serviced a multitude of teams in age groups ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade, and included both Frankfort and some Keyser area youth.

In the CAYFL League, the Keyser Tornado and Ridgeley Rams organizations serve as feeder systems for Keyser and Frankfort high schools.  In the case of both the Keyser Tornado and Ridgeley Rams, each organization services two teams, both a division one and division two squad.  As such, Mineral County essentially had four middle school aged teams competing in the CAYFL.

In addition to four football teams, the cancellation also includes the activities of cheerleading and drill team units as well, increasing the impact greatly in terms of numbers of participants.

Complicating the matter and aiding in the decision to cancel the season in both leagues is they both operate in multiple states. For example, JCP, while an area league, is composed of teams in West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, mostly Maryland. The CAYFL was composed of teams in West Virginia and Maryland, mostly Maryland, with five of the seven teams hailing from the Old Line State.

JCP’s formal announcement to cancel the season is as follows, “After extensive deliberations, it is the JCP Association's unanimous decision to cancel the Fall JCP Soccer season. It is out of an abundance of concern for the health and safety of our players, families, coaches and all involved that the decision was made. Please know that the decision was not made in haste and we know our players need soccer in their lives, therefore we will keep everyone informed of future JCP Sanctioned events. Stay safe in this uncertain pandemic, hope to see everyone soon.”

The CAYFL’s announcement to cancel the season is as follows, “The CAYFL met tonight and as a result we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 season. It was a decision that was very difficult to make and there was much discussion and debate but in the end the safety of our players, cheerleaders, dance team members, coaches and fans is what is most important to us. We may take some negative reaction but in the end safety is paramount. I can live with this decision. On the other hand if just one person would become ill or die from COVID-19 because we put them at risk I would not be able to live with that. We look forward to hopefully coming back stronger than ever in our 2021 season and pray for the continued health of our players, cheerleaders, dance team members, coaches and fans as well as our entire community.”

It is important to note that these cancellations apply specifically to the JCP Soccer League and Cumberland Area Youth Football League. There has been no official determination or announcement made on the final decision of the Potomac Valley Soccer League and Tri-State Pee Wee Football League.  All are stand-alone organizations.

The decision to cancel the seasons for JCP soccer and CAYFL football were not made lightly, in fact, both reference intense deliberations and both reference sorrow that the decision to cancel had to be made.  In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, hard decisions with safety at the forefront of all decisions need to be made.  JCP and CAYFL have made their decisions.

Connor Jewell of Frankfort JCP Soccer practices earlier this month.
Tribune photo by Chapin Jewell