Lincoln Youth Football History
Lincoln Youth Football (LYF) began in 1992 as West Side Youth Football playing with approximately 20 players in the Belt League. All games were played on the road since there was no home field and game uniforms and practice uniforms were one in the same with no helmet decals or personalized jerseys. Under the direction of President Kevin Monty Montavon and Coach John Colasurdo, the program developed closer ties with West Sylvan Middle School and its feeder schools and became known as West Sylvan Youth Football (WSYF). The WSYF Chiefs grew to over 100 players including five teams ranging from 5th/6th grade teams to an 8th grade varsity team.
In 1999, WSYF joined Tualatin Valley Youth Football League (TVYFL) and over the years has grow to over 250 players with 10 teams competing at levels from 3rd/4th grade through 8th grade. Stronger ties began with Lincoln High School and home field sites were secured at both Lincoln High School and Cedar Park Middle School. Players now had their very own personalized game jerseys and game pants along with apparel for coaches and families. Subsequently, the program has became known as Lincoln Youth Football and it has taken on the high schools mascot, the Cardinals.
During the first ten years of its existence, Lincoln Youth Football was guided and grew under the leadership of Kevin Montavon. Tragically, in July of 2002, Kevin passed away. Kevin took great pride in giving as much to the underdog players as the top-level players and his efforts did not go unnoticed. Every year Kevin coached he was honored by the TVYFL with the Wellnitz Award given to the coach whose team demonstrates class and sportsmanship both on and off the field. His memory was also honored by TVYFL by naming one of its divisions the Montavon Division.
Coach Bill Gambill stepped into the role of President of LYF and Coach Colasurdo remained as Vice-President during the ensuring years. With great initiative, both Coach Gambill and Coach Colasurdos raised over $35,000, secured all necessary permits and oversaw the renovation of West Sylvan field in 2004. The project included leveling and re-seeding the field, relocating the cinder track that previous ran through the middle of the field and installing a major commercial irrigation system. In addition, an annual field maintenance program was instituted in cooperation with West Sylvan Soccer and Lincoln Youth Lacrosse which includes aeration, leveling, seeding and sanding. The new and vastly improved turf at West Sylvan is enjoyed by many user groups and its origins can be traced back to the hard work of Coaches Gambill and Colasurdo along with the financial support and volunteer efforts of many LYF families.
Between 2005-2007 further improvements were secured by LYF at West Sylvan by virtue of donated blocking and tackling sleds and the securing of funding and approvals for a goal post which was installed at the north end of the field. This new goal post will allow teams the opportunity, for the first time, to practice kicked extra point and field goal attempts at West Sylvan field.
LYF continues today to be a non-profit organization staffed entirely by volunteers at all levels of the association. The goal is to provide football skills in a safe environment while developing sportsmanship, teamwork and involvement with their school and community.
Over the past several years, the association has developed off the field programs as well. An 8th grade team tradition was started which involved cleaning up the grounds at West Sylvan Middle School in early August and spreading new barkdust in the beds. Also, an after school study hall was created at West Sylvan and staffed by LYF parent volunteers. It continues today to be a valuable resource providing an opportunity for players to get their homework completed before practice and greatly reducing the amount of commuting required of parents during the school year.
In addition to these West Sylvan based improvements, LYF created Jackson Hill Day as an ongoing fundraiser to not only honor the memory of one of our players who was stricken with cancer and passed away, but to teach the players the importance of giving back to the community.The success is due to the work of many players, parents, school administrators, coaches, board members and countless others who have worked tirelessly without fanfare to bring football to kids in the Lincoln Community.