Locals organize youth football in Lowndes Co.

Published 7:31 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2013

For the first time in countless years, children in Lowndes County will have the opportunity to participate in youth football.

Organizer Andre Hardy said he thinks youth football in the county will help build a foundation for football programs at Central and Calhoun high schools to grow.

“Central has not won a game in five years,” he said. “And the only game Calhoun is consistently winning is against Central. Lowndes County Schools are at the very bottom of 2A football. Right now, we have the mindset set that it’s OK to lose. We don’t want to foster that. We want to improve.”

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Hardy said there’s need for improvement, and he thinks youth football will help

“The kids are playing football,” he said. “So they aren’t fundamentally developed until they get into the ninth, 10, 11 grades.”

Hardy said players not being fundamentally sound create a difference in the level of play, which results in a lot of losing.

The program is open to all children in Lowndes County.

“We’re calling ourselves the 45’ers,” he said. “The reason I chose that is because the Lowndes County car tag is 45, and kids from Lowndes County whether Central or Calhoun say, ‘We represent the 4-5.’”

Team colors will reflect both public schools and Lowndes Academy, Hardy said.

“I chose Colombian blue and gold as our colors, taking from Central and Calhoun, and we’ll wear red wristbands for Lowndes Academy,” he said.

Hardy doesn’t have children, but wants to give back to him community, he said.

“I played football her in Lowndes County,” he said. “I was able to take football and get an education at Tuskegee.”

So far, some 25 children have signed up for the program, which comes with a $40 registration fee to help pay for insurance, and then parents must purchase equipment or cheerleader uniforms.

The program is open for children ages 4-12.

“We’ve had good feedback,” Hardy said.

The season will kick off with a jamboree game on Aug. 24, he said, but the official season will kick off at home on Aug. 31.

“We’ll play our home games at Central-Hayneville,” he said. “Our first game will be played against a youth football team from Montgomery called the Ravens.”

Other home games will be played Sept. 21, Oct. 12, Oct. 19, and Oct. 29.

Volunteers are needed, Hardy said.

“If you know football, and want to step up, feel free to,” he said. “We need volunteers.”

For additional information or to sign up please contact Andre Hardy at 334-328-488 or Tamekia James, cheer coordinator, at 334-221-6829.