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Medina Youth Gridiron Football

History

1968

In 1968, Medina Youth Football was born. It all began when Chet Cypher, a local physical therapist, placed an ad in the paper asking if anyone would be interested in helping form a football team for boys (then called pee-wee football). He wasn’t sure if he would get a single response. “A meeting of interested parties” would be held. Chet hoped for the best.

Several men responded to Chet’s ad and the meeting was held. Out of this meeting, a mission was created to provide boys ages 9 to 13 the opportunity to play football, “the greatest sport ever invented” according to Sam Gorfido, Medina’s first head varsity coach. “We wanted to teach them lessons about hard work, dedication to team, and about winning and losing. But most of all, it was about playing the game and the life lessons learned through participation.” According to Sam, Medina Youth Football wasn’t formed to train boys to become high school players, but rather to allow all boys the opportunity to experience the game of football on the field.

Medina formed the Mustangs in 1968. In that first year 49 boys signed up to play. Personal I.O.U.’s were given to buy the equipment and uniforms from a local sports store in town. “We pretty much had to take what we could get” recalled Sam. “Our uniforms were red, white, and blue.” Those were the jerseys available with short notice. Pads arrived just in time for the first game against Rittman. “We didn’t even have a chance to practice before our first game”, lamented Sam. Practices were held at the Fairgrounds and games were played on the high school field (now Medina’s soccer stadium). The league consisted of three teams from Wadsworth; the Redskins, Green Dragons, and Black Panthers. Also, the league had teams from Rittman and Black River. The varsity Mustangs were 0-5-1 that first year. Every game was a challenge, and Sam knew the hard work and dedication from the boys would eventually produce a winning team. The Mustang J.V. team was quite successful that year, making the playoffs.

1970

In 1970, Medina created its third team, equaling Wadsworth’s number of teams. The Medina Broncos were born. That year the Mustangs continued their success by once again participating in the league championship game, this time losing in double overtime 12-6 to the Redskins. The Mustangs were unscored on until that final game.

During the initial years funds were raised with paper drives, bake sales, pancake dinners and the like. Also a concession stand sold homemade baked goods at the games. “We had some of the most wonderful women who helped us”, recalled Sam. “We could not have accomplished anything without the support of the Moms.” In 1971, a plan was put together to allow the youth football teams to use a vacant part of Reagan Park for a playing field. Bill Dunn, Medina’s recreation director, was instrumental in making this happen. Old poles and lights from a baseball field in Grafton were transported to Reagan Park and installed by Ohio Edison. Sam Gorfido, a mason contractor by trade, led a team of volunteers who built the fieldhouse (which still stands today). “All labor was donated to the cause” said Sam. “We were very lucky that so many people helped. Even Ohio Edison donated their labor.”

The initial success of Medina Youth Football was a result of a well thought out vision and a lot of citizens who cared enough to make something happen for the kids of Medina. From their labors, they created a foundation of excellence, which still remains today.

2015

Announced the unification of Medina’s youth football associations. Medina Gridiron Youth Football, Medina Youth Football Association and the Medina Professionals Flag Football have decided to join forces and offer the city of Medina a single youth football organization. Effective March 1, 2015 the three organizations will combine as one and be known as the Medina Youth Gridiron.

Medina Youth Gridiron will continue to aspire to be an outstanding educational-athletic organization that provides a high quality experience to every athlete. The focus will continue to be on lessons about hard work, dedication to team, and the life lessons learned through participation. The leadership boards and coaches are committed to continuing a positive culture in which coaches, parents, fans, officials and athletes work together to achieve our youth guided mission and be a part of the Medina Football program.

The newly formed board of Medina Youth Gridiron is working on a question and answer communication to begin the preparation for the 2015 season. This will be made available on all three league web sites in the very near future.

“The City of Medina is thankful and pleased to hear of the recent merger of the three youth football associations: Medina Youth Football, Medina Gridiron, and the Medina Professionals into one association named the Medina Youth Gridiron. The leadership of the three associations are to be commended and recognized for this collaborative merger. This new team will more effectively and efficiently serve the youth football participants and their respective parents. Well done”!
Mayor Dennis Hanwell

“Medina Athletics is beyond excited that the leadership of the three youth football leagues have made the bold step to merge together as one. The amount of work and sacrifice is noted and appreciated. This will only lead to bigger and better things to come. This decision is in the best interest of the youth of Medina and will benefit youth athletes for years to come”.
Medina Athletic Director Jeff Harrison

“This is an exciting time for football in Medina. The High School football program is very excited to continue our participation and involvement with the youth association and the "future bees" of Medina. This merger will be an exciting thing for the High school, middle schools and community of Medina. Any chance you give kids to be active and learn the great game of football -we at the high school are 100% behind it” .
Medina Head Football Coach Dan Sutherland

The Medina Youth Gridiron board and coaches are very excited about the combined talents and resources being brought together to continue to provide quality tackle, flag and cheer programs to the Medina community.

We Thank Our Founders

MYFA would like to thank the following founders for beginning the legacy 41 years ago!

Chet Cypher
Sam Gorfido
Don Tripepi
Fred Marshall
Dudly Hendricks
Neil Strouph
Beech Stevenson
Bill Bryson
Harry Orr, Sr.
John Meyers

About Wadsworth Youth Football

The Wadsworth Youth Football, WYFA was founded over thirty years ago in Wadsworth Ohio. They started with just 6 teams from the Wadsworth area. WYFA has since grown to 17 teams/leagues from 11 cities and towns in Medina, Summit and Wayne counties.

The vision of the founders was to provide the smaller, ‘featherweights’ the opportunity to learn and play football without the fear of going up against the big kids. Thus, the low weight limit rules that are in place. Players are eligible between the ages of 8 and 13 and are generally grouped by size and age. See our ‘Information’ page for the player levels and weight limits. In spite of the lower weight limits, a very high percentage of high school players in the participating cities started out on a WYFA/MYFA team.

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Medina Youth Gridiron Football

P.O. Box 41 
Medina, Ohio 44258

Email Us: [email protected]
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