Optimist Football Looking for Players
Registration for the Sandhills Optimist football leagues is currently under way.
And this season, the league is trying to keep all the games in the county. For the past several seasons, the league has played teams from surrounding counties, but not this season, according to Tom Hogan, chairman of the Optimist Club’s football committee.
“We are trying to get participation up,” said Hogan, “and make this a Moore County league.”
The league is offering three different leagues: flag football (ages 6-8), tackle football (ages 8-10) and tackle football (ages 10-12).
In the flag football league, teams will consist of a maximum of 10 players with five players on the field at one time. Games will consist of 40 minutes running time and will be held Monday through Friday and some Saturdays.
Participants must be 6 years old as of July 1, 2012, and cannot have turned 9 years old before Aug. 1, 2012. Games will be played at Camelot Park in Pinehurst.
Participants in the 8–10 tackle league must be 8 years old as of July 31, 2012, and cannot have turned 11 years old before Aug. 1, 2012. Participants in the 10–12 league must be 10 years old as of July 1, 2012, and cannot have turned 13 years old before Aug. 1, 2012.
Practices are held during the week with games on Saturday. Games will be played at various middle schools throughout the county.
Registration is slated to run through July 15.
Participants can register and pay on the club’s website (www.sandhillsoptimist.com) or download the form and mail it in. The cost for flag football is $65, while the tackle leagues are $100 each.
Registration fee includes game socks, secondary insurance and use of game jersey, practice jersey, game pants and football equipment. Hogan said that after that date, participants can call Bryan Moore, Optimist Club athletics director, at (910) 690-7142 to see if space is available.
No child will be excluded because of financial hardship, according to the club’s website.
Hogan said the league is trying to get four teams in each of the tackle leagues, and keep the teams together by school district.
One big assistance for the league effort, Hogan said, is that Todd Maness, who has been running two teams in the North Moore area, has agreed to come on board with the new league. Maness, a legend in Robbins football circles, teamed up with North Moore High School football coach Greg Simmons to start the teams last year.
“It’s a marriage of the two groups,” Hogan said. “Todd has really been helpful in our being able to put this together.”
Practice is tentatively scheduled to start around July 30, Hogan said, with games starting sometime around Labor Day. Championship games are slated to be played in early November.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering to coach, Hogan said, is asked to call Moore at (910) 690-7142.
Hogan said the intent of using the school districts is to create an atmosphere where the kids will be able to play together through flag and the tackle leagues until they reach middle school.
“We want to be able to go solo,” Hogan said. “We want to be our own league and teach these kids fundamental football. We are trying to create a feeder system for the middle schools in the county. Our ultimate goal is to help all three (high) schools develop great programs.”
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