Bristol Youth Football and Cheer, home of the Bristol Bulldogs is holding a fundraiser for the Bristol Bulldogs cheerleaders to raise money for their competition. They plan to hold a pasta dinner on August 25th from 3:30-6:30 at the Bristol Elks Club, 126 South Street. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. There will also be raffles.
The mission of the Bristol Bulldogs is to encourage the youth of Bristol to strive for academic excellence throughout the school year; to practice ideals of teamwork, sportsmanship, and physical fitness; to develop friendships through common interest in athletic competition and to learn to accept discipline and direction through adult supervision. Also to develop and improve the football skills and cheerleading skills to enable them to participate in competition.
Bristol has had high school football since it first had a high school, but until the early 1960′s all of its players came into the scholastic game without any previous experience except playing on the neighborhood sandlots on occasion. Those games were played with or without, most often without, make-shift uniforms and it was either tag or tackle football, generally the rough and tumble latter.
In 1963 a local group of ex-Bristol High players and football fans organized the Bristol Midget Football League to give youngsters of grammar school age the opportunity to play in an organized league. Fellows like Gerry Burns, Dave Hamel and Armand “Bud” Choiniere were among the founders, those who met and talked up the idea in the very early 1960s before seeing the circuit come into fruition.
The first games were played in early October of 1963 with four teams in the league, the Giants, Redskins, Browns and Packers. They were named as such because these were the names of the leading and most popular NFL teams at the time. The league at first shortened its field to 80 yards and modified some of the rules to fit the small competitors. An estimated crowd of 1,700 turned out for the Opening Day Parade and doubleheader.
The league grew rapidly, adding the Bears and Cowboys to the circuit. The field was expanded to 100 yards and the minimum age rose one year as the program developed. Now with six teams there was a tripleheader each weekend during September and October in allowing over 200 boys to participate. A large awaiting list of want-to-be players then faced the league directors as the program gained in popularity.