Penn Hills youth football organization marks 75th anniversary with new technology

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Sunday, July 25, 2021 | 8:01 AM


The pandemic postponed the Penn Hills Midget Football Association’s 75th-year celebration by a year.

But the time lost to the pandemic wasn’t a complete loss for the program.

PHMFA President James Bradley saw an opportunity to give the program a facelift. The PHMFA created a new logo for the anniversary, renovated the fieldhouse and snack bar at Turner Friendship Park and created a website and app for parents and members of the program to communicate.

“I tell parents, ‘For the first time, you have a voice,’” said Bradley on how he wanted to improve the program. “There’s no denying what my motives are here. I want kids to play football, and I’m doing everything I can to make them want to be here.”

The PHMFA’s first practice was scheduled for July 26 at Friendship Park. Parents can still sign kids up for the team until Aug. 6. Penn Hills will open its schedule Aug. 22 on the road against Gateway.

Bringing the program into the 21st century with technology is something Bradley and PHMFA marketing director Bethany Slaugenhaupt hope can drive interest. They currently have 80 kids signed up for football and 35 for cheerleading.

The app allows for communication with parents to inform them of the schedule while also providing a place for people to talk and share photos. Bradley and Slaugenhaupt moderate the app and make sure everyone involved has ties to the program.

Slaugenhaupt said the group of parents that have utilized the app and website thus far have made it a positive experience for all involved.

“Penn Hills Midget Football has been the sole provider of midget football for 75 years,” Slaugenhaupt said. “We’ve been the program in Penn Hills for that long. Making this website and app where parents can be involved in the same place, it’s safe because we moderate it. Whoever is on the app is part of the program.”

The PHMFA also is looking for more players and cheerleading coaches before the season starts.

Bradley is excited for the season to get going. He believes with the improvements made, the PHMFA will continue to impress people who attend games throughout the league.

“I’ve been in this community and this program for 20 years; it’s nice,” Bradley said. “Everyone who comes to our equipment room says, ‘I have never seen anything like this. I’ve never seen a program handing things out that have tags on it.’”

For more information, visit the PHMFA’s website at www.thephmfa.com or contact the organization at thephmfa@gmail.com.

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