Hundreds of young football players hit the field SaturdayPublished 10:06pm Thursday, September 19, 2013
High school, college and pro football teams have been strapping on their helmets and shoulder pads for a few weeks now, but this Saturday hundreds of players will put on their uniforms and take the field for the first time in 2013.
Selma’s youth football season kicks off Saturday with an opening ceremony at Memorial Stadium, followed by nine games starting at 9 a.m.
“We have an opening ceremony first thing at 8 a.m. We line all the teams up and all the coaches,” Selma Parks and Recreation Department director Elton Reece said. “We introduce each child and they run out to midfield … it is to get all the kids here and get a lot of pictures.”
In all, there are 19 teams in this season’s eague, with about 25 players on each team. There are 15 teams from Selma and four total from Uniontown and Marion.
Many of the coaches, like Vikings head coach Stacy Crenshaw, have been helping coach youth football for a long time.
“I enjoy impacting the young guys life,” Crenshaw said about his 14 years as a youth football coach. “This is my relaxed time to be with the kids and I just enjoy doing it so that’s why I’ve been doing it so long.”
Many of the players have never played football before and Joe Dailey, head coach of the 7, 8, and 9-year-old Dolphins, enjoys seeing his team develop throughout the season.
“The main thing is to be able to get a bunch of kids, some of them that have never played the game and teach them the skills and the fundamentals,” Dailey said. “After about the third or fourth game, you see them able to execute and run the plays and it’s amazing.”
C. J. Pritchett, head coach of the 8, 9 and 10-year old Bears, said after a few more weeks of playing together his team should start clicking.
“As we progress a little bit, everything tends to click,” Pritchett said. “From the beginning, you go through a learning stage. By midseason, we should be there and I shouldn’t have to tell them anything.”