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FALL FUN!

PLENTY OF OPTIONS FOR YOUTH SPORTS

BY HILTON HEAD MONTHLY

Another sports season is set to begin, and parents looking for athletic options can find plenty in the Lowcountry.

The Beaufort County Parks and Recreation Department and the Island Recreation Center offer myriad youth sports programs.

One of the longest running programs is Hilton Head Gator football, which kicks off in August for players ages 6-12.

Gator football, in its 53rd year, is designed to teach the game to the youth, the Island Recreation Center website notes, and the organization teaches sportsmanship, teamwork, commitment to hard work, and leadership.

Practices at Barker Field are 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursdays. There’s a $50 rental fee for game pants, helmet, shoulder pads. Participants keep the jersey.

The age groups are: 6-8 Small Fry; 9-10 Pee Wee; 11-12 Midgets.

The action gets going with a jamboree Aug. 20 at Bluffton High School. The first game is Aug. 27. Register by Aug. 26.

The Gator program also offers an option for young cheerleaders.

The island’s soccer program for boys and girls runs from September to November. It’s a fun way to get outside and develop friendships.

“Learn the skills of the game while developing lifetime skills (sportsmanship, winning and losing correctly, etc.),” the website said.

Ages 4-5 play on Fridays, and ages 6 and up play on Saturdays. The fee is $95, which includes uniforms and pictures. Register by Aug. 22.

There’s also a 3-year-old soccer program ($70, which includes a jersey and soccer ball) which runs from September to October. Youngsters learn basic skills during a 30-minute session run by the Island Recreation Association.

Another Island Rec Center offering is karate for kids ages 5-12.

“Through this program, you will learn self-confidence, a mixture of cardiovascular endurance, strength training, and flexibility exercises,” the website notes. “This will improve reflexes and coordination while increasing strength and stamina. Overall fitness will be achieved.”

The fee is $115. Classes are Wednesday and Thursday, 6:15-7 p.m.

For the latest information, visit islandreccenter.org/fall-sports.

The Beaufort County Parks and Recreation Department is offering flag football, which has grown in popularity. Its co-ed program is for those aged 4 through 16.

In conjunction with Bluffton Youth Sports, youth baseball and youth softball are popular fall programs. For baseball, participants in the Bluffton area will mainly practice and play at Oscar Frazier Park and Michael C. Riley. For softball, practice and games primarily are at Oscar Frazier Park.

The fall season for both sports is for ages 6-12.

Jerseys, hats, belts, and socks are supplied by the recreation department.

The most popular sport is soccer, with thousands enrolling in the program every year, according to Beaufort County Recreation Department. The fall season is for participants aged 4 through 16.

Fall cheerleading is also a highlight and is for those ages 7-14. The uniform is furnished by the recreation department.

The fee for each sport (except cheerleading) is $70. Cheerleading is $50.

“Our schedules are designed to maximize results through age-appropriate practice and game times,” the county website said. Registration for all county rec sports is through Aug. 5.

For the last information, visit bcscrec.com.