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I have to admit I’d not followed youth football for the last 20 years but being on the sidelines to photograph the Rebels this year made me a fan. I had the opportunity to attend the year end awards banquet this past Sunday and found out there is even more football in the county to be excited about.
The Casey County high school cafeteria was packed with nearly 300 players, coaches and parents. The event also incorporated recognition of the youth league cheerleaders that celebrated their inaugural season this year coached by Mandi Jones.
While listening to Coach Breece Hayes talk about the youth league that covers K-6 it was obvious how much he and his fellow coaches care about the kids and the youth program. The county has a huge asset in these guys and the kids and parents involved know it. Before Hayes could begin handing out awards he was surprised by a gift from his team. Parent and league photographer Marie James stepped to the mic and presented Hayes with a photo blanked that clearly chocked him up. “We have great coaches throughout the leagues that are dedicated to these kids and do a wonderful job. We couldn't ask for better guys to teach and train our children” James said.
Coach Steve Brown of the Junior Team (3rd and 4th graders) displayed a handful of the trophies that his team brought home this year. The team went 11-0 including tournament wins and several out of area games. “I can tell you all that we’re not very popular in Russell County right now because of the hardware you see up here” Brown said.
Coach Kevin Long spoke about how much value there is in the feeder system the youth league provides to the middle and high schools. Speaking directly to his 8th graders and their parents, Long said, “I encourage all of you to continue on and not consider sitting out a year or two. You may think there won’t be much playing time as you enter the high school program but sticking with it now gets you ready for those varsity years”.
To see images of the banquet or just keep up to date on the youth program you should visit their Facebook page at: