HAMLET – Week one of National Football League kicked off earlier this month, and the junior and senior leagues of the Richmond County Parks and Recreations are set to start their season in two weeks.
Hamlet Parks and Recs is currently in the midst of signups for football and cheerleading, as the two unarguably go hand-in-hand. Interested applicants can register at Hamlet City Hall, located at 201 Main Street.
Registration for both football and cheerleading began on August 21st, and will continue until September 22nd, with late registration starting on September 25th and ending on September 29th.
Hamlet Parks and Recs will operate three different leagues:
● The “flag football league” is available for participants ages six to eight years old, and any interested player must be six on or before April 30, 2017, and must not turn nine before that date. There are no weight limits. The fee is $35 per child.
● The “junior football league” is designed for ages nine and 10. Again, age is determined as of April 30th. In this league, the weight is set from 65 to 135 pounds.
● The “senior football league” is for participants ages 11 and 12. Date requirement for age is the same as stated above, and the weight range for this league is 75 to 160 pounds.
For the junior and senior leagues, the registration fee is $60 per child, and participants will weigh in before each game. There will be a mandatory weigh in at Memorial Park on September 30th; 9 a.m. for junior league and 10 a.m. for senior league players.
On the cheerleading side, anyone ages five to 13 years old with the same April 30th cutoff date may register. The registration fee is only $15, but does not include the uniform or equioment accessories.
Maurice McLaurin, director of Hamlet Parks and Recs, says registration is going well so far considering soccer season is still in session.
“We’re really just waiting for soccer to end, to see our real numbers,” McLaurin said. “Registration usually picks up the last week.”
McLaurin is planning to send out a fax to all Richmond County schools that support the age groups as a reminder about the approaching deadline Friday.
Hamlet Parks and Recs hasn’t had an 11-12 year old league the last few years due to other local travel ball organizations, among other circumstances. But McLaurin has big plans for this year, and encourages parents to sign their children up.
“We just want to make sure there is enough kids to participate to have a strong program,” McLaurin said. “Football is a big deal in this county, and Hamlet Parks and Recs is where it all begins.”
McLaurin, a Hamlet Parks and Rec alumni himself, reiterated that his main objective is the happiness of the participants.
“I’m just looking forward to the kids having a great season,” McLaurin added. “I want them to enjoy themselves and be safe while doing so. I am proud to say that we haven’t had any injuries in the last two years and we plan to continue that trend.”
Registration forms are available online at the City of Hamlet’s website, www.hamletnc.us, but all forms and fees must be turned in at the physical Hamlet City Hall location. There is a $10 charge for late registration.