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Hilliard Optimist Club Youth Sports

Hilliard Optimist Club Youth Sports

Registration Listing

2024 Player Yard Signs Tackle Football

We are pleased to offer these yard signs for you to
celebrate your young athlete. Signs are $20 if you
place your order the same time you register for tackle
football. Or $23 if order is placed later.

An example of the signs can be found on the Player Signs tab
on this website

2024 Player Yard Signs Tackle Football

Registration closes on 06/07/2024 at 12:00 AM
Season Dates: 04/01/2024 to 06/08/2024

2024 Tackle Football

Hilliard Optimist Club Youth Sports tackle football is for those players entering the 1st-6th grades for the upcoming 2024 - 2025 school year.

Divisions are the following

Freshman Grades 1st and 2nd 2024-25 school year

Junior Grades 3rd and 4th 2024-25 school year

Senior Grades 5th and 6th 2024-25 school year

Games will be primarily on Saturdays with the earliest games starting at 9am.
Freshman Division will have half their games in Hilliard and half on the east side
of Columbus. (Pickerington and Lancaster) A Sunday game is also possible.

Junior and Senior division primarily will play games in Hilliard. Away games may be
scheduled depending on total number of players registered for the season.

Freshman - Grades 1st-2nd 2024-25 school year

Registration closes on 06/08/2024 at 10:55 PM
Season Dates: 07/29/2024 to 10/31/2024
Show Details

Senior - Grades 5th-6th 2024-25 school year

Registration closes on 06/08/2024 at 05:26 AM
Season Dates: 07/29/2024 to 10/31/2024
Show Details

Junior - Grades 3rd-4th 2024-25 school year

Registration closes on 06/08/2024 at 12:06 PM
Season Dates: 07/31/2024 to 10/31/2024
Show Details



                                                       TACKLE FOOTBALL REGISTRATIONS OPEN APRIL 1ST 

Welcome to Hilliard Optimist Football....since 1958!!

Youth Development: Our main goal is to promote the development of our youth in the community through sports activities that require skill building, teamwork, and sportsmanship.

Community Participation: Hilliard Optimist Club Youth Sports.  We are non-profit, 100% all volunteer program who use members from the local community to support and manage the activities of the league. The program was founded in 1958 .

Safety First: All of our coaches are required to pass background checks every two years, they must pass progressive coaching certification courses managed through the National Youth Sports Coaches Association that teach age-appropriate instruction and techniques and are required to complete a course every three years on concussion awareness and safety. In addition, our league places an emphasis on using safe quality equipment and purchases our helmets and shoulder pads through Riddell and Schutt.

The Youth Tackle Football Program 

Freshman Instructional Tackle: 1st-2nd Grade (Unlimited overall weight)- This division begins to teach players the basics of tackling, blocking, formations, positions, and play calling.  Strong emphasis on safety is the focus of this division as players are taught the correct techniques required for levels of contact for tackling and blocking.

Junior Tackle: 3rd-4th Grade (Unlimited overall weight) - This division uses all of the concepts learned in Flag and Freshman and is taught with high school rules modified for skill positions and modified for offensive and defensive formations/techniques to ensure the safety of the players.

Senior Tackle: 5th-6th Grade  This division allows for more advanced defensive and offensive formations and techniques as the players mature and become more knowledgeable and skilled. Some modified high school rules are still maintained to ensure safety and competitiveness.

Tackle Football - $210

Helmet, shoulder pads, mouthpiece, and game jersey are provided.

Questions ?   Email Lamarr Deslandes  [email protected]


2024 Football Dates
April 1 Registration Opens
June 7 Registration Closes ( this date is tentative may be sooner - wait list may be needed)
June 15 Player Evaluations
June 18 Player Evaluations
July 10 Player selection meeting (coaches only)
July 20 Equipment pass out. (All players and Coaches)
July 29 5 DAY Heat acclimation week
Aug 5 Full Contact Practice (full week)
Aug 12 Full Contact Practice (full week)
Aug 19 2 Contact practices per week
Aug 21 HCSD First Day of School
Aug 24 Games week #1
Aug 31 no Games
Sept 7  Week #2 Games
Oct 19 Week #8 Final Games

Hilliard Optimist Football Alumni tell what the program meant to them 

"Playing in the Hilliard Optimist Youth Football league taught me not only the fundamentals of a game as special as football, but also allowed me to experience the pure joy that football brings for the very first time. I made friendships in those early years that I still have to this day.Optimist football laid out the foundation for a craft that I would continue to work on for the next 15 years, taking me from coast-to-coast, developing both the player I was and the person I am today."

Jordan Weatherby Hilliard Davidson Football Alumni!


"What I enjoyed from Hilliard Optimist Youth Football. . .I learned the right and wrong way to play the game. Figured out how to compete as a team. Played against players from all across Hilliard that later on would become my brothers and good friends. That alone is the biggest impact on the life I’m living now."

Ryan Tuchow Hilliard Davidson Football Alumni


"The Optimist football program was where I first found my passion for football. Through the Hilliard Optimist Youth Football league I was able to meet new friends and learn the value of teamwork, perseverance and toughness at an early age. My favorite memory from optimist football was playing a “prime time” game on Saturday night under the lights."

Kyle Annis  Hilliard Davidson Football Alumni


My Hilliard Optimist Youth Football Experience!

"Hard work, perseverance and accountability. Believe it or not even future collegiate football players didn’t start their whole lives! Learning from a young age how to work hard toward something and to keep showing up to earn something you aspire to, and even more importantly knowing how to humble yourself and not feel that you inherently deserve something, is one of the most important things I learned growing up. You don’t have to be the star of the show to have fun, embracing the grind and working toward a common goal with your teammates teaches you both how to enjoy daily struggles and how to build community with those around you."

Alex Backenstoe Hilliard Davidson Football Alumni


"Playing Hilliard Optimist Youth Football started my love for football and allowed me to learn what hard work was but also having fun while playing. It also allowed me to create memories that I still are able to talk about with my buddies as well as others who I was able to create a relationship with through optimist football."

Owen Savage Hilliard Davidson Football Alumni


"Learning how to be apart of a team while dealing with adversity. Hilliard Optimist Youth Football helped me overcome nervous feelings- I had to learn how to overcome those nerves and control my mindset. My 3 years of optimist football, my coaches didn’t have a son on the team -they just wanted to pass down the development, passion and the love of the game to the next generation."

Nick Dymek Hilliard Davidson Football Alumni

 played many years of Optimist football and learned many valuable lessons: hard work, teamwork, accountability, and commitment stood out to me.But not as much as the one that I will use for the rest of my life. . . love. The importance of loving what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with, brings all the other things I listed above.

I learned this from my former Coach Chad Cordle. If the next generation of football players or athletes loves and are passionate about what they are doing, then they will get the most out of everything in life.

Alex Painter Davidson Football Alumni


Playing Hilliard Optimist Football as a kid taught me the value of teamwork, perseverance, and discipline. It instilled in me a strong work ethic and taught me how to push myself beyond my limits to achieve success both on and off the field. I am also grateful to have met a number of my friends I’m close with to this day from playing on the same teams together. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the lessons I’ve learned and the people I’ve met through the Hilliard Optimist Youth Football

Bobby Smith Hilliard Davidson Football Alumni


The Hilliard optimist youth football program taught me the great game of football. In the game of football there is an abundance of lessons that relate to football and life that I carry with me still. It taught me how to work hard, even when instant gratification isn’t the result. It taught me how to be accountable and consistent, down to the smallest of details. Most importantly, it taught me to respect and show love/brotherhood, no matter someone’s situation, nationality or upbringing.

Bosston Nolty Hilliard Davidson Football Alumni

Optimist Football was the best football experience I had…including high school and college. I was so lucky to play for the Saints and Chris Lardiere who showed me early on that football was about so much more than what happened on the field. Coach Lardiere required us to get a weekly note from our teacher showing we were of right character to play for the Saints and Optimist Program. He
and his assistants preached the team concept and gave out helmet stickers for character traits and effort…everything except scoring touchdowns. I also learned from him and the Optimist program to enjoy the process- too often in sports and life we are caught up in results, but the Saints taught me the results would take care of itself if the process was right.
I also vividly remember him telling me, “…not every play is designed to score a touchdown.” I always took that to mean more than football…that there is so much strategy and processing to anything you want bad enough, and little pieces help you get where you want; that preparation and details set you apart.
On the field- we learned the core fundamentals of football. Coach Lardiere was special. I was ahead of my peers at a young age in football knowledge and skills simply for playing.
Adam Olsheski Hilliard Darby Football Grad


The Football Board of Directors has updated the rules document for 2024.
Please take the time to review the updated document.

hoyfl rules and regulations 2024 - april 2024.pdf


Lindsay’s Law is about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in youth athletes. This law went into effect in 2017. SCA is the leading cause of death in student athletes 19 years of age or younger. SCA occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. This cuts off blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. SCA is fatal if not treated immediately.
You are REQUIRED to watch the short video, read the Parent Information, and sign the Parent Signature page and give to your coach at your first practice.
No child is permitted to participate in any practice or game until your coach has received your signed paperwork.



Away Game Locations 
 Groveport Madison MS Central 
751 Main St Groveport OH 43125

Baldwin Middle School
2300 Baldwin Rd
Reynoldsburg OH 43068

Westerville North High School 
950 County Line Rd, Westerville, OH 43081

Ohio Dominican University
1216 Sunbury Rd, Columbus, OH 43219

630 Hill Rd N, Pickerington, OH 43147

Lancaster HS Fulton Field 
1312 Granville Pike
Lancaster OH 43130
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