Community youth leagues set the stage for future champions

Pictured (front row, L-R) are Wyllow, Celeste, Samantha, Savanna, Mariam, Katie and Lydia; (back row) Coach Kim Sanders, Valerie, and Coach Kari Hurst.

Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer

Watch out Franklin High School Panthers. Here comes the Macon County Youth Football league.  Facilitated by Coach Benjamin Waldroop and several other volunteers, children from ages 5 through 12 can join one of four teams. This season,  the PeeWees was comprised of 15 players ages 5- 6; the Termites had 20 team members ages 7-8; the Mites team consisted of 45 players ages 9-10; and the Midgets were made up of 18 players ages 11-12. 

Each of these teams has its own cheerleading squad. This year the PeeWees recruited 10 energetic 5- and 6-year-olds who learned several cheers and some halftime routines and a competition regimen, along with the 10 Termites who cheered their hearts out for their cohorts as did the the 10 Mites and 8 Midget Cheerleaders.

Football games were played at Franklin High School every Saturday with several away games played throughout other counties. There were a total of eight regular season games for each of the four teams and a playoff game if the teams make it that far. When a football team goes to the playoffs and wins they then go on to a championship game. 

And the Mites football team did just that. Not only did they finish the season, 9-1, but they won the Conference Title and the championship Cracker Bowl Title. 

The PeeWees went 4-4; the Termites finished with 2 wins and 6 losses, and the Midgets closed out the season with 3 wins and 5 losses. Playing on a football team with such a small number of players on a team as was the case for the PeeWees, Termites and Midgets can be challenging, but nonetheless, every team tried their hardest and displayed mature attitudes even in the face of adversity.

The Cheerleaders were just as impressive. They supported their teams with enthusiastic cheers and several stunts. They, too, were able to compete in a Cheer Competition against neighboring counties’ Cheer Teams. 

PeeWee Cheer finished first at the competition,  quite a feat for that young team. Termites unfortunately did not place, but they gave it their all nonetheless. The Mites finished an honorable second and the Midgets finished in fourth place even though their stunt flyer was unable to “fly” due to spraining her wrist during the last week of practice. Midgets coaches and cheerleaders scrambled on the last day of cheer practice to choreograph a different routine having only two hours to practice it. They displayed good sportsmanship and still managed to take home the fourth place trophy!

Football players and cheerleaders entering sixth grade are eligible to join the Middle School teams and go on to accomplish great things along the way.

It is due to the efforts of volunteers and board members that make this league happen.