Each middle and high school allows the youth football program to use their football fields free of charge, which greatly adds to the success of the season. These schools and their recreational facilities are a tremendous community asset and have a major impact upon the quality of life in Bradley County.
Eighteen teams participated in our local league this year. The 7-8-year-old Cardinals won the 2013 Super Bowl this season, coached by Dr. Rickey Hutcheson. The 9-10 Super Bowl was won by the Chargers, coached by Stacy Pope. The 11-12 team, coached by David Moses, is competing against teams in the Chattanooga area. The 12-year-old team did well this season and received the No. 2 seed for that tournament. Congratulations to the winners and all the teams for their good sportsmanship and fair play.
As the season for the Youth Football League ends, the Parks and Recreation Department turns its attention to the Bradley County Youth Basketball season which begins Nov. 21 and ends in February. The league, which will have 66 teams participating, is very competitive and creates a lot of excitement for the more than 1,000 kids who participate. Each night several gyms are packed to capacity to watch our local youth participate.
I want to thank the parents for encouraging their children to take advantage of team sports in Bradley County. As mayor, I also want to express my appreciation to the hundreds of volunteers who support the county’s sports programs with their time and energy.
We are fortunate to have a Parks and Rec staff capable of providing professional, safe recreational programs and facilities for Bradley County citizens. Wyrick and his staff maintain more than 200 acres of recreation facilities. However, without the support of the many volunteers the staff’s job would be very difficult.
In addition to overseeing the many team sports opportunities available through the Bradley County Parks and Recreation Department, Paul and his staff must oversee maintenance and upkeep, while continually planning ahead for the next team sport. The maintenance division has already begun winterizing the facilities while making improvements for the 2014 spring season.
Crews are busy with painting and installation of a retaining wall at the popular BMX facility. Maintenance crews will also be replacing two backstops at Bradley North. The netting has lasted 13 years and needs to be changed. Netting for the other two fields will be replaced next year. Blue Springs Park will receive new sidewalks so spectators can access the fields much easier.
Last year the dugouts were completed at the field for the 11-12-year-olds and the softball complex dugouts were painted. The department also installed power service to the scoreboard at the Charleston football stadium.
For more information about any of the team sports programs, you may contact the Recreation Department at 728-7035 or visit the county website at www.bradleyco.net.
The Parks and Recreation Department is another reason that Bradley County is Tennessee at its best.