Chick-fil-A Bowl expands ranks of state's youth football league

The Chick-fil-A Bowl recently announced it's adding two conferences and 6,000 more players to its youth league football program, making it one of the largest such programs in the country supported by a bowl game.

The program now has a total of 18,000 players from 10 Georgia counties.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl will sponsor a "Game of the Week" each week over 14 weeks from the North Georgia Football League, the Gwinnett Football League, the Georgia Youth Football Conference and the United Youth Football Conference.

The 14-week schedule leads up to 19 championship games played on four different sites on Nov. 18 and Nov. 25, where the players will get the big-game experience of the real Chick-fil-A Bowl.

"Our only goal with this program is to positively affect youth football at all levels," Chick-fil-A Bowl President Gary Stokan. "We're fortunate to have this chance to get involved in these communities and create a memorable experience for the kids and their families.

"Our hope is that by helping make these games really special, more kids will get involved and have more fun doing it."

Each Game of the Week will feature Bowl-sponsored interactive games and contests, a preview and summary of the action on the Bowl's Web site and a weekly Scholar Athlete of the Week award for players and cheerleaders.

Both Brookwood and Collins Hill will play in the Game of the Week this season - Brookwood's contest is scheduled for Sept. 9 and Collins Hill's is on Oct. 7. Their opponents are still to be determined.

At the end of the season, the four league championship games will culminate in the 19-game Chick-fil-A Youth Bowl Championship Series with all the elements of a big-time college football bowl game. League champions will also be recognized at the Chick-fil-A Bowl FanFest during Bowl Week in front of more than 25,000 fans.