WATER VALLEY – After months of practice and preparation, two new PopWarner football teams play their first home game at Bobby Clark Field Saturday morning at 10 a.m. against the Oxford Tigers.
More than 40 area youth are participating in the full contact sport, according to organizer Ralph Horton. The teams, both called the Water Valley Titans, include a 6-9 year-old peewee team and a 10-13 year-old bantum team.
Horton said seven teams from neighboring towns will compete each Saturday, alternating at home and away through November. Playoffs will follow in Jackson for the best teams in the league.
The first regular season game was held last weekend when the Titans traveled to Greenville. The 10 -13 year-old team was able to start the season with a narrow win, earning a 7 – 6 victory. The 6 – 9 year-old team lost its opening game after going into double overtime.
Horton said support for the new league in Water Valley has been great. Because the sport is full contact, each player receives a full uniform, complete with helmet and pads, at a cost of $130 per player.
The cost is minimal, according to Horton, when the benefits of the program are weighed.
“We help teach a child discipline,” Horton explained, as he emphasized that each participate must maintain good grades.
“We tell them, if your homework isn’t done, don’t come to practice,” he added. Along with Coach Bobby Phillips, Horton said they checked the progress reports of each player in accordance with PopWarner guidelines.
“One mom said she had seen a big improvement from last year,” Horton continued.
Horton invites the public to participate by attending the Saturday game. Admission is $3 per person and the money raised at the gate and concessions will help offset expenses.
“We’ve had roadblocks, and have several sponsors,” Horton added about financing.
To help support the teams, contact Horton at 832-1830 or Coach Bobby Phillips at 473-6363.