KALIDA --Football season has started in Kalida.
The first practice for members of the first Kalida Midget Football team was held at the new Kalida Park on Monday evening. The program is for third to sixth graders.
“It’s an idea that a lot of people have had in the back of their minds for a long time,” said B.J. Slusser. “It’s great to see it is actually happening.”
Over 20 kids turned out for the first practice.
Abby Young said the idea started to take root this year when Slusser began talking to Andy Young, Abby’s husband about the idea. “My husband was from Ottawa so he was all in favor of starting football in Kalida,” Young said.
“My first response was that I would help out next year,” Abby said. “But things began rolling faster and other parents stepped forward to help so we decided to start this year.”
“We plan to grow the program as the kids get older,” Young said. “We’re starting out now with midget football but as the kids get older we plan to add a junior high football program, then junior varsity and then varsity.” Young said they have made Kalida school officials aware of their long term plans.
“When I talk to others who were part of a football program they always remember the bond that is formed with team mates,” Slusser said. “The players learn more than football skills, they learn about being members of teams.” Slusser said he expects the boys will also be in better shape for other sports as they finish workouts during football.
The two major coaches for the peewee team are Joe Young and Tyler Vorst.
“We were pleased with the number of volunteers who offered to help with the coaching,” Young said. She said they used social media to get the word out about the program.
The Youth Football team is in the Northwest Midget Football League. There are three divisions in their league.
‘We will play Ottawa, Grove, Bluffton, Pandora and Liberty Benton,” Young said. All of the games will be away since there is currently no football field in Kalida. The Kalida Youth Football program is in coordination with Kalida Lions Club and the Kalida Athletic Boosters to begin construction of a football field this fall out at the New Park.
Practices will continue this week from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Equipment will be handed out at the end of the week.
“We held some fundraiser to get money and local businesses have been very supportive,” Young said.
Anyone interested in joining the Midget football team can come out to practices to register or can call Young at 419-615-8035 for more information.