Putnam Recreation prepares for fall sports

A field goal post and a soccer net stand ready for action at the Putnam County Recreation Department. With summer events coming to an end, football and soccer will soon begin. Registration for fall sports goes through Aug. 7.

PHOTO: Brandon Bush

By Brandon Bush



Fall is getting closer and so are fall sports.

The Putnam County Recreation Department had a summer full of events, including numerous baseball and softball games and tournaments. Now, the department is getting ready for the return of fall sports, and many young athletes in the area will have a chance to play football and soccer.

Four fall sports are close to being underway: football, flag football, soccer and cheerleading. Anybody who still wishes to sign up can do so before the deadline on Tuesday, Aug.7.

Flag football is available to for ages 4-6 for a registration fee of $50.00 while tackle football will be offered to groups ages 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12 for a registration fee of $75.00. Cheerleading will be available for ages 4-12 and will require a $60.00 fee.

Soccer will feature all co-ed teams this year. Four different age groups will have teams available to those wanting to participate. The teams include an Under 5 (or U5) team for ages 3-4, a U8 team for ages 5-7, a U10 team for ages 8-9 and a U14 team for ages 10-13. Registration fees for soccer this season are set at $50.00.

The recreation department will begin the evaluation period for football and soccer shortly after the registration period ends. It will begin putting teams together after that point. By the third week of August, the department hopes to have the two sports practicing and preparations for each team’s seasons in full swing.

Regular season games for both football and soccer should be underway by the second week of September. Although the deadline to register is coming up fast, the bulk of recruitment should not pick up until school is back in session.

“Right now, it’s still early on,” athletic director Scott Haley said. “Usually, when school starts, we start seeing a good bit of traffic out here.”

Representatives from the department typically attend the Open House nights for Gatewood and Putnam County public schools in order to help recruit more players. They were present at the two schools Monday and Tuesday night. Once school begins, the majority of athletes taking part in the seasons will be signed up for the season and teams will be able to be put together.

Putnam recreation often forms leagues in several sports along with the recreation departments of Morgan, Greene and Jasper counties. These leagues are usually referred to as the “Lake Oconee Football League” or the “Lake Oconee Soccer League.” This means Putnam County will have plenty of local competition on which it can test its football and soccer skills.

Outside of preparing for fall sports, the recreation department has a few summer activities left to wrap up. One such event is the championship tournament for the department’s co-ed church softball league, which was held on Tuesday and will resume on Thursday.

“It’s been fun,” Haley said about the church softball league. “Everybody’s playing to win, but it’s more laid-back. It’s more of a fun outlet for anybody who wants to come out and play softball.”

With more children signing up to play fall sports when school starts, anybody looking to take part should register by Aug. 7 to get a spot on one of Putnam’s football or soccer teams. With competition from other Lake Country athletes at neighboring recreation departments, this season should be a good time for Putnam County’s next generation of talent to get some quality playing time.

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