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Youth football league gears up

By Doug Gorman

A new football league for players and cheerleaders is forming in Clayton County.

It will eliminate the traveling but will still give players and cheerleaders the chance to participate.

The league will be run through parks in Jonesboro, Riverdale and Panhandle. League will be open to players ages five through 14.

Each age group will have an unrestricted weight limit, but players will only compete against players in their same age group.

In the 13-14-year old league a 160-pound weight limit will be in place.

For those still wanting to play in a travel league, the Clayton County Courgars will compete in the United Youth Football Conference.

That travel league will have teams in 9-13-year-old division. They will also have cheerleaders.

Both players and cheerleaders are selected through a tryout basis. Cheerleading tryouts will take place Monday July 21 at Lee Street. Football tryouts for the Cougars

are set for the following Monday.

Tryouts for the travel cheerleading squad begin at 6 p.m.

Football tryouts for the travel team begins on the 28th at 6:30.

In the newly formed local league, teams from all three parks will compete against each other in a 10-game regular season with a playoff at the conclusion of the season.

"This will eliminate the traveling that might have kept people from participating in the past," said Greg Dickens, a Lieutenant with the Clayton County Police Department and a 23-year volunteer of youth football with the county.

Dickens said, "There is still an opportunity for those who want to tryout for a traveling team to do.

Registration for the local league is $110 and can be paid at any of the parks on Saturdays.

"I am a big believer that sports helps motivate and develop young people into leaders," Dickens said. "Hopefully, this new league will bring back some people who didn't want to play because of all the travel."