History of Mid-Florida Football and Cheerleading Conference

Photo for Dixie Website

The Mid-Florida Football and Cheerleading Conference was founded in 1997. The founding member teams were the Mulberry Panthers, Haines City Rattlers, Lake Wales Steelers, Winter Haven Warriors, Plant City Dolphins, and the Lakeland Eagles.

The conference was created to offer an alternative to other conferences that use weight as a restriction to play football. Mid-Florida would offer every child a chance to play football regardless of weight.


The first meeting was held in Mulberry at Badcock Field. In recognition of this historic first meeting, the Mulberry Panther’s colors being Blue and White were adopted as the official colors of the Conference.


Horace West of the Haines City Rattlers was selected to be the first president. To date only 2 others have held the distinguished position. They are Albert Bates of the Poinciana Predators and Jack Dumond of the Lakeland Chargers.


The Conference has made many changes over the years. Only 3 of the original 6 leagues remain. The conference has grown from 6 leagues in 1997 to more than 30 leagues in 2007. So far the Conference is presently represented in 5 counties here in the state ofFlorida. It is the goal of  Mid-Florida to consistently grow with the acquisition of quality leagues, yet always remembering our core principal of service is for the youth of our communities and providing a safe environment for them. With careful planning and continued research, our plans are to expand at an accelerated pace over the next few years.


There will continue to be new changes and ideas implemented into our program that we feel will result in helping to make the Conference become highly recognized across the fifty states and to be exclusively identified as the premier youth football and cheerleading conference throughout the entire state of Florida. We realize that our management team will also need to increase in size as more leagues are welcomed into the conference; so our plans are to partner with well known business sponsors that have a genuine concern for the development of youth sports organizations such as the Mid-Florida Conference. We have already begun to implement specific changes and procedures to ensure that we maintain an even balance of improvement in all categories throughout the entire program.


Most importantly, the Mid-Florida Conference will continue to gives thanks to the LORD for our continued prosperity and success. Just like always we will remember that the proper care and training of the children is the most important reason for the existence of the Conference. Collectively we remain unified in acknowledging that our program relies solely on the participation of our young ones and the satisfaction of the parents in order for us to be successful. Without question, the Mid-Florida Football and Cheerleading Conference would like to have the opportunity to continue to be a part of your child’s dream. Helping him or her with achieving personal goals through group sports participation is a wonderful experience.  Preparing your child for the future is not an easy task. Please allow us to join you with helping you to be able to enjoy seeing your child develop into a leader of tomorrow.


The Mid-Florida Conference thanks all of you for your support and for allowing our organization to help bring your child’s dream to REALITY.



Albert Leon Bates Jr.

Former President / MFFCC 
VP Citrus Conference