History of Windsor Minor Football

Minor football started in Windsor in the year 1954, with the Windsor Pee Wee Football League operating six teams and 180 youths between 10 and 14 years of age. A.K.O. (Alpha Kai Omega) Fraternity helped sponsor the league in 1955 and in 1956 the program was renamed the A.K.O. Pee Wee Football League. They continued to operate for 30 years and in May 1986, A.K.O. decided to drop their minor program.


Minor football coaches, high school coaches and citizens interested in minor football were determined to maintain this league in the Windsor area and after several meetings, on May 17, 1986 voted to form the Windsor Minor Football Association and elected their first Executive Board of Directors. Windsor Minor Football was able to obtain its "Letters Patent" charter by May 30, 1986.


As a result of a ticket raffle, bingos, tag day and a large number of donations, both business and personal, the Windsor Minor Football Association accumulated approximately $ 30,000.00. New top quality equipment was purchased to enable the Association to operate a six team league. Following a very successful season and playoff series, we culminated with an East/West All Star game followed by a banquet at which time each member of the league was presented with a Windsor Minor Football Association trophy in appreciation of their full hearted commitment to the Association.


In 1987, we expanded to an eight team league and experienced a very successful year. The players and coaches were looking forward to their first competition in the Minor Tackle Provincial Championships in Oshawa.


In 1988, we expanded to a ten team league which included six teams from Windsor and four from the County. Once again, we took part in the Minor Tackle Provincial Championships.


In 1989 and 1990, the league fluctuated from nine to eight teams, mostly because of the lack of coaching staff. We were proud to host the 1990 Provincial Championships in Windsor and our team made a very impressive showing, losing only in the final game.


In 1991, we maintained six teams from Windsor and two from the County and were fortunate enough to be able to send a Pee Wee team and an Atom team (made up of younger Pee Wee players) to Hamilton for the Provincial Championships. Both teams played well and placed second.


In 1992, the league expanded once again with six teams from Windsor and three from the County, sending the Pee Wee and Atom teams again to Ottawa for the Provincial Championships.


In 1993, we once again went to an eight team league, six from Windsor and two from the County. We sent a Pee Wee team to Brantford and watched proudly as they won every game and became our Provincial Champions.


In 1997 we expanded to eleven Pee Wee teams with six from Windsor and five from the County. We participated in a Can-Am friendship game vs. the Highland Hornets from Pittsburgh and also played in our first international youth bowl held in East Lake Ohio.


In 1998, our newer executive, aggressively sought to create an Atom Division apart from the traditional Pee Wee division to help alleviate consistent problems with differences in age and weight. To our surprise, we were able to form six atom teams alongside ten Pee Wee teams.

With this, sponsorship and interest in our league has grown enormously with no turning back! Approximately 200 sets of equipment had to be purchased beyond our expectations. Again our Pee Wee All Stars played Highland and Ohio. Playing Highland has now become an annual event. We also created an Atom Division All Star team that played a friendship game against London.


In 1999 we added two more Atom teams but lost two Pee Wee teams. Again our Pee Wee All Stars played Highland and also travelled to play a friendship game against Burlington's Pee Wee rep team. Our Atom team travelled to play London.


In 2009 WMFA expanded to now include a cheerleading division. In our first year of providing in-house cheerleading division. This new division was definatley a noticeable addition to the league.


In the last couple of years, awareness of our program has increased dramatically and feedback has been nothing but positive. Players, parents, the community, and high school coaches have all supported and expressed appreciation concerning our program. 


As it stands now, we have two teams in our Mite Division, four teams in our Tyke Division, four teams in our Atom division and six teams in our Pee Wee divisions with separate banquets for each division. In 2011 we set up an annual All-Star game against London Minor Football Association for all 3 divisions which we look forward to continuing for many years.


Further History of WMFA - Our Founders

AKO decided to drop the minor football program at the end of the 1985
season. They said it took too many resources to run (it was too much work)
A group of coaches got together and asked AKO if they would donate the
equipment to us because we didn’t want the program to come to an end but
they refused.

We went to the original founder of Minor football (1952) Jack Forrest and our
strategy was, to get him to ask for the equipment. When he turned the
league over to AKO, he gave them all the equipment so he was going to ask
for it back and then was going to donate it to us. They refused.

The committee was formed and we started fundraising. First thing we did
was approach Wintario for a grant and they informed us that they would do
a matching program but wouldn’t just give the money.
We fortunately had a connection for bingos at Brentwood through Mike McKenzie (Police)
and Doug Topliffe (Firefighters) and got 3 giant bingos scheduled.
Those same two were able to get a commitment from their respective unions to
donate $5000 each. We did car washes, 50-50 draws and then approached
sponsors. We also had single player sponsorships and had everything from
bail bonds company’s to pizzerias. For $100 you could have your company
name appear on the back of a player’s jersey and sold over 100 of those.
Mal Hodges was great at convincing (strong arming) defense lawyers that it
would be a great idea to support WMFA. (if they ever needed a favour)

We had what we thought was enough money to buy the equipment when
Wintario said it would take 3 to 4 months before we’d see a cheque. They
guaranteed us that we were approved but it would take time that we didn’t
have. Doug Topliffe went to his bank and took out a 2nd mortgage for
$15,000 to cover the costs and we bought the gear. He was eventually paid
back once the grant arrived which was more than a match so we actually
had a small bank account for officials and operations.
The first season went of very well and expansion took place almost
immediately after. We continued with bingo’s and fundraisers to buy enough
equipment for the growth.

The rest as they say, is history. NOTE: Joe Papia who was one of the second
or third presidents was instrumental in starting the Atom division and all-
star games between us and London. 

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