Glastonbury youth football player Noah Colon models new football uniforms. Both football and cheer got a rebranding in the offseason.
When the players and cheerleaders in the Glastonbury Youth Football Association, Inc. (GYFA) return to the gridiron this summer, they will have a fresh look and a new, yet familiar name.
Following the conclusion of the 2021 season, the association decided to rebrand and authorized spending of over $60,000 on state-of-the-art helmets and shoulder pads for players, as well as upgraded uniforms for players and cheerleaders, consistent with a new brand and color scheme.
“Our players and cheerleaders are some of the best boys and girls that our town has to offer,” said Joe Colon, President of the GYFA. “They deserve to wear the best.”
Colon added the upgrade equipment wasn’t because the old equipment was deteriorating, but had more to do with an investment in the athletes overall well-being and the commitment to the town.
As in previous seasons, Glastonbury’s players will continue to wear navy blue jerseys and pants at home game. However, for away games the players will wear Carolina blue jerseys and navy blue pants. The players previously wore white jerseys for away games. Cheerleader’s uniforms will be upgraded to reflect the new color scheme as well.
Colon said the color pop is “crisp, attractive, and different” from the other teams in the conference.
“We wanted to give them the best. They give us the best on the field, so we wanted to give them the best as well,” added Colon
This year the teams will also adopt a recognizable moniker – the Guardians.
“We are the primary feeder programs for Glastonbury High School,” Colon said. “We hope and respect that each of our boys and girls will move on to play and cheer for the Guardians in high school. When we committed to upgrade our uniforms, it only made sense for us to follow the high school’s lead and change our brand to maintain continuity between our programs and theirs.”
Two years ago, GHS changed over from the Tomahawks to the Guardians and the GYFA decided it was time to align with the high school.
“We want our athletes to have a sense of pride,” stated Colon. “Our athletes will ideally go into Glastonbury High School and we want our players to have a sense of who they are when they get there.”
Above all, Colon added that safety is the top priority and one of the accomplishments that the association is most proud of is that the teams have had zero on-field Covid transmission since the pandemic started.
He added that the new equipment, including modernized helmets, will help prevent injuries and make the players safer on the field.
“We wanted to look into what the best was out there and we did a lot of research,” Colon said of the new equipment. “It’s an investment and we are an organization that is committed to our customers, which is the boys and girls when you really look at it.”
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Colon added that the number of athletes continues to increase and called this season a “banner year” because of the growing enrollment and the overall buzz surrounding upgraded equipment.
“When the players see the new uniforms you can see their excitement,” he added.
He credited the focus on safety, along with the commitment from the leadership from the top with changing the perception of the game.
“We are committed to giving the student a great experience, but also we pride ourselves that we have great coaches and volunteers in our organization,” added Colon. “We have great coaches that go through training to learn how to teach the game the right way.”
The coaches are certified by USA Football, which emphasizes proper tackling technique and contact drills to makes the game more safe.
All boys and girls, in grades K-8, residing in the town of Glastonbury may register to play or cheer for the 2022 season at the association’s website www.GYFA.com with practices set to begin on Monday, August 8.
For more information, contact Colon directly by emailing email@example.com or by telephone at 860-680-7558.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin