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Rashad Milligan | Times-News BACK AT IT: Lanett recreation assistants, from left, Selbie Bradley and Curtis Lewis stand on the field where home games for the league will be at this season. It is the former Lanier High School football field.

Registration meetings for Lanett recreation football, cheerleading begin next week

LANETT — It is once again time for recreational fall sports to begin.

Beginning Aug. 19, football and cheerleading registration meetings for the Lanett recreational league will be held at the gym next to the swimming pool. The meetings will be informational introductions for any interested league newcomers and brief refreshers for the interested returning players and parents.

“This is a follow-up meeting to see who’s going to be interested,” Lanett recreation assistant Curtis Lewis said. “This is to make sure that they’ve have filled out their registration forms, taken it to the city and paid their fees. As we have these meetings, we try to get a sense of how many kids we’re going to have.”

The first meeting on Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. is for first and second-grade flag football, with the cheerleading meeting for first grade through sixth grade beginning at 6:30 p.m. The third and fourth-grade football players will meet at 6 p.m. on Aug. 20, while the fifth and sixth-grade football players will meet at 7 p.m. that night. On Aug. 22 at 6 p.m., all flag football cheerleaders will meet. At 7 p.m. that night, third and fourth grader football players are invited to meet again, and the same applies at 7:30 p.m. for fifth and sixth-grade players. 

Lewis and Lanett recreation assistant Selbie Bradley said that they are also considering hosting a second week of meetings on the following Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for the parents who were unable to attend next week.

The heat has been a large talking point this past summer. Earlier this week, Alabama was one of the states that were included in the Southern heatwave. Lewis and Bradley assured that all Lanett recreational football players will have constant access to water throughout each practice and said that the practices shouldn’t last, on average, longer than an hour.

“This is going to be an extremely hot year compared to years in the past,” Lewis said. “We will take precautions to that.”

Bradley said that the recreation league has battled a decrease in participation in recent years with smaller local elementary school populations and perhaps competing with kids choosing to stay inside to play video games instead. Both Bradley and Lewis said that two of the department’s main goals for the league is to get kids active and to learn the game.

“This [league] is basically to get the kids acclimated to sports,” Lewis said. “Let them have fun. We try to teach them competition, but we don’t want it to get to a point where they feel like they have to win, no. Learn how to play the game, how to enjoy the game.” 

For the first time in a number of years, the Lanett recreational games will be played on the field behind the recreation buildings on the former Lanier High School football field. Pads, helmets and jerseys are a part of the registration fees and will be provided for each player. Jerseys will be provided for flag football participants.