Williamsport likely to seek youth football readmission

Williamsport teams could be welcomed back into the county’s independent youth football league with some changes, said Mike Thompson, president of Williamsport’s youth association on Thursday.

Thompson said Williamsport was voted out of the league Wednesday during a league-wide meeting that did not have Williamsport representation. He said he was told at first that the league was going in a different direction, but later that it would help Williamsport restructure its leadership organization to comply with the rest of the league. Thompson also thought lingering safety concerns over a 2012 shooting at Flanagan Park, where Williamsport teams play home games, and problems with a specific coach’s interactions with fans and officials led to Williamsport’s dismissal.

Thompson said Williamsport finished this past season at Lycoming College and was prepared to explore options beyond Flanagan Park in 2014, if necessary. Also, the coach in question is no longer involved, he said.

League commissioner Ken Thalman could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Other teams in the league are Montoursville, Loyalsock, South Williamsport, and Jersey Shore. It has divisions for flag and tackle for ages 5 through 12, with cheerleaders in each division. Flanagan said there were at least 175 kids playing football and 100 cheerleading for 7 Williamsport teams during the just-completed 2013 season.