ADAMS -- President of the town youth football league, Mark Harrington, announced that Adams and Cheshire's programs will merge by next year.
"We're calling it Adams-Cheshire Football," Harrington said at Monday's Parks Commission meeting.
The pee wee and junior teams -- ages 7 to 10 and 10 to 11 -- will combine next season, he said, due to a dip in Cheshire's numbers.
Because Cheshire would not have had enough players for its senior team -- ages 12 to 13 -- this season, Cheshire players of that age group will hit the fields in Adams this month.
"Overall, as a county, the numbers are declining," Harrington said. "A lot of communities are really hurting for numbers."
Pittsfield is having trouble filling its rosters, Harrington noted, and he said he only expects six to nine youths coming over from Cheshire to play with the Adams seniors.
Harrington said numbers remain strong in Adams, historically a popular football town, at roughly 87 total, and will remain so for at least three years. He said organizers are seeking to put together a summer flag football league for younger children to keep participation up.
The league has yet to plot how merging the Adams and Cheshire pee wee and junior programs next year will work out, but some combination of both towns' coaches and practice areas are likely.
Commission member James Fassell said the merger's been handled well to this point.
"You thought it out well," he said. "This year will be a transition."
League practice begins in Adams next week from 6 to 8 p.m., at Russell Field. Practices are five days a week until the school year begins and three days a week during.
In other business at the meeting, members reported that contractors began working on an irrigation system replacement and landscaping at the Valley Street soccer and baseball fields on July 1. The town covered the $20,000 bill and the teams that use these fields have relocated for the season to other town fields.
Fassell also requested that a letter be sent to the Board of Selectmen asking that they fill a gap on the commission. The five-person body is currently short one member.
To reach Phil Demers, email