FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1) Why join the Colonie Junior Raiders over other youth football programs?
We are a community based program built on the belief that every child should have the opportunity to play youth football. We do not turn away any player based on weight and we make sure that our players are of similar ages. Pre-K and Kindergarten play together, 1st and 2nd Grade, 3rd and 4th grade, 5th and 6th grade. Your child will not play against a player who is 2+ years older than them as we believe they are at different levels of athletic ability, independent of size. We believe the weight/sized based model is an outdated model.
We are a community based program that is family centric, we keep registration costs low and offer discounts for our families so that cost will not be a deterrent to playing youth football. We also have a later start date in August to accommodate summer plans and vacations.
We believe that the fundamentals of football are paramount and we follow the model set forth by our High School Football Program and coaches. The Junior Raider coaches take direction from our high school coaches who are involved with the planning of practices and the implementation of skills, drills and techniques.
We are one Colonie Football family from Pre- K through 12th grade! Your child will be playing with children that they will play with all the way to Varsity!
2) What divisions and levels do the Junior Raiders provide?Answer:
The Colonie Junior Raiders have 2 divisions for flag football and 2 divisions for tackle football.
- Junior Flag is made up of Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten aged players. This is a purely developmental level and a great way to get started in football. We play "In house" games against each other and also travel to other organizations who may offer Junior Flag. This past season we set up games with North Colonie.
- Senior Flag is made up of 1st and 2nd graders and they will have the opportunity to play all organizations in the CDYFL.
*NEW for 2021 season* - 3rd and 4th grade flag football.
- Junior Tackle is made up of 3rd and 4th grade players.
- Senior Tackle is for our 5th and 6th grade players.
3) When do practices start? Where are practices held? What are the practice requirements?Answer:
Practices start the 3rd week of August. We begin August 23rd for the 2021 season! We believe a later start date allows our families to enjoy their summer and allows them the opportunity to have a family vacation. All practices and home games take place at the West Albany Pocket Park located at 90 Braintree Street in Colonie.
- Tackle players are required to have 8 practices prior to their first game. The first 2 weeks of tackle practice is Monday - Thursday 530-8pm. This is 8 practices and allows tackle players to be eligible to play in games. After the first 2 weeks and when school begins, practice is Tuesday and Thursday from 530-8pm for the remainder of the season (subject to change). Tackle players are expected to attend and participate in all practices.
- Flag players will practice 2-3 times per week during the first 2 weeks and then Tuesday and Thursday when school begins. Flag practices is are typically shorter than tackle practices. Flag players are expected to attend and participate in all practices.
4) What league does the Colonie Junior Raiders play in? Who do we play?Answer:
The Colonie Junior Raiders play in the Capital District Youth Football League (CDYFL) and are one of the founding members of the league. The league is built on the same beliefs. Other organizations that make up the CDYFL are Averill Park, Ballston Spa, Bethlehem, Burnt Hills, Broadalbin Perth, Columbia, Mohonasen, Niskayuna, North Colonie, Schalmont and Scotia. You can find more information at www.cdyfootball.com. We add like minded organizations every season and were happy to welcome Averill Park and Bethlehem for the 2019 season and beyond!
5) What equipment do players need?Answer:
All players, flag and tackle, will need to provide cleats and a mouthguard. The league will provide flag players with flags and a game jersey. The league will provide tackle players with all of their equipment (shoulder pads, helmet, pants), as well as, a practice and game jersey.
6) What are the responsibilities for each family?Answer:
As stated earlier we are a family centric organization who relies on volunteers and family volunteers to help run the program. - Concessions
- Your concession duties have been rolled into the your registration costs. You do not have to worry about missing a game to work in the concession stand and there is no need to pay for someone to work for you. - Fundraising
- We run various fundraisers throughout the year - coin drops, Chipotle fundraiser, etc that we ask all of our families to support our fundraising efforts. Our main fundraiser is Football Mania based off of the NFL football season. We ask that each "player" sell 5 tickets. Fundraising money goes towards reconditioning of our football helmets and also will allow us to totally replace our football equipment for the 2022 football season. For more information about the football mania fundraiser look here: Football Mania- Game Day
- On game days, we will need 3 volunteers to do the chains and down markers for our home tackle games. We will also need someone to video tape our tackle games. BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE!! Head coaches will reach out for volunteers.
All of our coaches are certified through USA Football and their Heads Up Football Program. The Junior Raider coaches take their direction from the Colonie High School Football coaches led by Varsity Head Coach Greg Bearup. The High School football coaches are very involved in the Junior Raider program and it is common to have the High School coaches, as well as, Varsity players at the Junior Raider practices. We are one Colonie Football family from Pre - K through 12th grade.