11-Time State Champion Coach Kyle Visits Perkins to Promote Rookie Tackle Program

Cleveland St. Ignatius head football coach Chuck Kyle has earned the moniker of Legendary Coach. Coach Kyle is a 11-time state champ, his Wildcats have earned 3 national titles, twice he has been named national high school coach-of-the-year, and recently he was voted the 6th best HS coach of all-time.

Perkins Youth Football director Todd Kreimes.

On February 25th, Coach Kyle who was representing the Cleveland Browns, visited Perkins at the urging of Coach Jason Ziegler.  Perkins Youth Football director Todd Kreimes organized the event attended by 30 coaches representing 8 SBC schools. 12 of those coaches being Pirates.

Rookie Tackle was developed 2 years ago to shrink the youth field to make the game safer.  As Coach Kyle explained, “have you seen 6U soccer players play on a regulation soccer field with regulation-sized goals? No.

Kyle said further, “How about 8U baseball players on a regulation field? No. Even young basketball players and little volleyball players play on shorter rims and nets. Why not football? Well, we’re changing that with Rookie Tackle.”

Coach Ziegler picked up on that theme. “Pirate Football is committed to making the game as safe as possible. Football teaches dedication, hard work, & commitment to name just a few. These attributes last long after our student-athletes are done playing. With everything in me, we want to instill these qualities within your kids. I love the greatest game on earth, but there is even a bigger picture- life skills as taught by football.”

Rookie Tackle is this pathway to a safer game. Perkins hopes to initiate the program for the 2019 season. The Cleveland Browns Manager of Youth Football Darrell Taylor has been in contact with Perkins Football over a dozen times and stated “Thank you for your hard work in advancing the game of football. The Browns are glad to support Perkins Football in implementing our Football Development Model (flag-Rookie Tackle-modified 11man) and will assist you as we continue our relationship.”

Coach Ziegler concluded, “we are fully in. We will be the leaders and get this program implemented. Hopefully each team in the whole SBC believes as we do and jumps on board. Regardless, Perkins believes in Rookie Tackle and we thank the Browns and Coach Kyle for their assistance to date.”

BCSN video with interviews.

Key highlights about Rookie Tackle:

  • Seven players on the field per team 
  • 40-yard-by-35-yard playing field size, scaled for a youth athlete’s age and skill level
  • Maximizes field space by playing two games simultaneously on a regulation-sized field
  • Players learn multiple positions and skills; position-specialization is not introduced
  • Smaller teams foster more playing time and opportunities for improvement, success
  • Players on offensive and defensive lines begin every play in a two-point stance 
  • Removal of special teams encourages more plays from scrimmage and skill development 
  • More focused, individualized coaching attention by virtue of a smaller roster

Other resources:


YouTube video by USA Football:

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