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Jags host youth football meeting

The Jaguars will host a youth football town hall meeting to bring together representatives of all forms of youth football activities in the area. The goal of the meeting is to survey what youth football activities are going on in the area, what are some of the positives and what can be done to make the programs in this area better.

The meeting will be held Thursday, November 6 in the West Touchdown Club and is open to the public. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting scheduled from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

"The NFL has identified youth football as essential to its future health in both player and fan development," said NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. "One of the challenges of the NFL is keeping the game as great as it has been, and that involves youth and high school football. The youth playing today are the future of our game and we are committed to that goal."

To this end, the NFL has established a youth football department, headed by Cedric Jones, senior director of youth football. Jones will provide the opening address for the meeting and will discuss why Jacksonville has been identified as one of the leading markets for youth football programs.

"The Jacksonville area has extensive opportunity for youth to participate in football," Jones said. "In fact, it has more extensive programming than many larger markets around the country. This meeting is an opportunity for the NFL to see what is being done in Jacksonville, highlight the positives and apply those successes in other areas."

In addition to Jones, the Jaguars will provide a panel of youth football directors to discuss topics and answer questions from the public on issues ranging from equipment cost, field improvements, officiating, sports medicine and coaching.

Panelist will include representatives from: NFL Flag, Punt, Pass and Kick, Pop Warner Little Scholars Inc., Florida's First Coast YMCA, Duval County Police Athletic League and the National Football Foundation.

"I expect that in addition to sharing information on leagues and programs, participants will address issues that face all youth football programs. The goal is to discuss a a range of topics, gather information and see where work can be done to improve the programs in the future," said Paul Vance, Jaguars vice president of football operations.

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