After about a half-century of running tackle youth football programs in Whatcom County, Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County announced last November the program was coming to an end, citing the costs of providing a tackle football program that met their safety standards.
As a result, other organizations have stepped up to ensure Ferndale and other Whatcom County youth still have access to youth tackle football.
Ferndale Youth Sports has been organizing youth sports since 2010 and, according to board member and longtime coach Bill Hatchett, their teams will play in the North Cascade Youth Football League. Other NCYFL teams include Bellingham, Granite Falls, Sedro Woolley, Mount Vernon, Lakewood, Oak Harbor and Concrete. Teams will be for 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders.
Ferndale Youth Sports board members are Bill Hatchett, John Sandstrom, Todd Anderson, Hank Swarz and Dianne Gillespie.
Ferndale Youth Sports coaches will be familiar to those who have played in the past years, Hatchett said. “These are the same coaches who worked with the Boys & Girls Club when they ran their league.”
Hatchett said Ferndale Youth Sports has in the past been supporting local teams, primarily baseball, through fundraising and donations. This included donating football gear to the Boys & Girls Club which has been returned and will be used for Ferndale Youth Sports teams.
Watson Athletics, dba Whatcom Wild, has been organizing youth sports since 2014 and, according to board member Derrick Watson, their teams will be playing in the newly formed Whatcom County Youth Football League alongside other teams from Meridian, Lynden, Nooksack, Mt. Baker and Blaine. These teams will be made up of 4th, 5th and 6th graders from Ferndale, Lummi and Bellingham, Watson said.
Whatcom Wild was developed to give local kids options to participate in sports while eliminating the need to travel far to do so according to Watson. “We won’t be building any super teams, rather we will be creating balanced teams that allow all kids the opportunity to play and enjoy playing.”
Whatcom Wild board members are Derrick Watson, Cody Oakes, Chris Watson, Kyle Laird, Jenna Westergreen and Jennifer Watson.
Both programs have begun accepting registrations. Ferndale parents interested in getting their kids involved in either program can find sign up forms and other information on their websites: