Wilton Youth Football and Cheer took a bold step on Thursday, Aug. 27, announcing it would refrain from participating in any tackle football activities until at least Sept. 22.

Jeff Siegel, President of the organization that oversees football and cheer for Wilton children in grades 3-8, said Wilton is the sole member of the Fairfield County Football League to postpone contact play that late into the season.

Siegel said the Sept. 22 date was chosen because it falls two weeks after the start of in-person school. The decision, he said, supports Wilton Youth Football’s primary objective of mitigating risk so kids can be in school.

In making the choice to refrain from tackle activities, Wilton will break ranks with youth football organizations from other towns. The first FCFL tackle games are scheduled for Sept. 5.

“I didn’t feel comfortable with that date given that we don’t start in-person school until the [Sept.] 8,” Siegel told GOOD Morning Wilton. “I feel it’s the right decision.”

In addition, Siegel said he was keeping the adult coaches who volunteer in mind. Most teams are coached by parents of the players.

Teams will continue conditioning activities until Sept. 22 following safety guidelines designed to help limit the transmission of COVID-19. Flag football teams will also proceed with appropriate restrictions.

“We understand that the FCFL schedule will be well underway by the time we would be ready to play,” Siegel wrote in an email to families. “Hopefully, the [COVID-19 case] numbers will remain low and we can scrimmage or play games after Sept 22 if the schedule permits.”

The group will reassess how things look after Sept. 22.

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