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Our History

The form of tackle youth football got started in Smyrna in the late 1960’s when Donnie Carter put together the first team of twelve year olds and participated in a Junior Pro League at Shelby Park in Nashville. Soon thereafter a league was formed here in Smyrna with four teams ages eight through twelve. A little later the league was expanded to include two age brackets, eight through ten and eleven through thirteen with four teams in each bracket. Mrs. Jean was the president of this local league.

Just like anything in its beginning there was much difficulty that arose, first was having enough players to fill rosters. With Charles Eady, Jack Cantrell and Gene Carr leading the way, a decision was made in the early 1980’s to join forces with the Phil King League in the Greater Nashville Area. Gene Carr served as president and Jack Cantrell as Athletic Director representing the league at Phil King, which is known today as the Mid State Youth Football League.

The only coach Smyrna Youth Football has had in the 11 and 12 year old Triple A division since the beginning of the program has been Donnie Carter. Donnie retired as head coach of this division at the end of the season in 2006.  He will be missed dearly. 

Since joining the Phil King/Mid State Youth Football Program, those serving as president of this league are: Gene Carr , Ed Lefant , Ben Andrews, Joe Willeford and Eddie Wisdom. Jeff Childs served as the President in 1999 and 2000 and Randy Dickerson in 2001, Gene Carr in 2002 and 2003,  and Bill Shadrake in 2004, Mike York in 2005, Mike Allen in 2006 and Mark Dye from 2007 - Present.

During our time as a member of the Greater Nashville Leagues, we have played home games at the Smyrna Middle School, earlier known as the Smyrna High School, and many years at the Old Rock School also known at one time as the Smyrna High School. At the present time, our home games are played at the Football Complex located in the Smyrna Recreation Park off of Sam Ridley Parkway.

In 2000, the executive board of the Mid State Youth Football League (MSYFL) organized the “Tennessee Youth Football League” which determines the state champion for AAA, BBB, CCC, and PW teams. The first year brought great success to Smyrna PeeWee Team (five and six year olds), Head Coach Bill Shadrake marched the Bulldogs into the State Championship and won by beating the Champion of Chattanooga.

Our experiences at Smyrna have been great as a league; this league has grown tremendously.  We are a growing program and are looking forward to the next few years!


Smyrna Youth Football League
Smyrna Youth Football/Cheer, P.O. Box 1871
Smyrna, Tennessee 37167

Email: [email protected]

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