The Putnam County Recreation Department is close to being ready for another season of fall sports.
At the moment, the department has 325 participants signed up for football, soccer and cheerleading. That number is still growing as more participants are signed up to a waiting list in order to fill out remaining spaces on a few teams, meaning that more Putnam County athletes will have a chance to compete this year.
“Our numbers are still growing,” Putnam recreation athletic director Scott Haley said. “We’ve got some places where we can plug some kids in. Around 300 participants is pretty constant for us and is about what we usually do every year, so 325 already signed up is a good number for us.”
The department has been wrapping up a long summer of baseball and softball, including a number of little league tournaments as well as local adult co-ed church softball, as well as a number of other events and activities such as various training camps. Football is scheduled to begin the week of Sept. 10 while soccer will begin the week of Sept. 17.
Just as excitement has been building for the football seasons of Gatewood and Putnam County High School, the opportunity for young local athletes to take the field will be a thrilling time for Lake Country sports fans. The department increased its football roster size to 25 players per team. There is currently one team in the age 11-12 league, two teams for the 9-10 league and a team for the 7-8 league.
For soccer, there are currently three 3-4 teams, three 8-9 teams and two 10-13 teams. Additionally, there are tentatively six teams in the 5-7 league and the department is still in the process of working on those teams.
Flag football is another sport the department is set to host. Currently, there are four teams featuring young athletes ages 4-6 and the flag football season is scheduled to begin Thursday, Sept. 13.
The Putnam recreation department usually takes part in larger leagues known as Lake Area Football and Lake Area Soccer, which consist of the recreation departments of Greene, Morgan and Jasper counties. Every football team and soccer teams with players age 8 or older will take part in the league and compete with the teams from the surrounding counties.
The department has worked hard over the last few months to prepare their fields and facilities for young Putnam athletes as well as visitors from the other recreation departments.
“Everything’s looking good,” Haley said. “We’ve got everything mapped out for this upcoming season. We’re going to be hosting some teams from the other counties, and our teams will have to go on the road for a bit, so it looks like it’s going to be a good season.”
While fall youth sports are getting underway, the department is also in the process of developing some new sports and activities for this year. Adult co-ed church volleyball is a new sport that will make its debut this fall and, if the new sport is successful, the department will look to expand co-ed church volleyball to the younger leagues.
“We’re still in the early stages of getting the volleyball league together,” Haley said. “But a lot of people have shown interest in it, so we’re going to try and have it kick off later in the fall.”
The Putnam County recreation department will begin hosting football and soccer games in September, providing young Lake Country athletes with a chance to show off their skills with some healthy competition.