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.
Nineteen teams participated in our local league this year. The 7/8 year-old division was won by the Seminoles coached by Todd Duggan. The 9/10 year-old division was won by the Ravens coached by Justin Carpenter.
The football season was a great success thanks to the support of the schools that hosted the games. The addition of lights to the stadiums at Cleveland Middle and Lake Forest Middle schools helped make this year’s schedule much easier to manage. Congratulations to the winners and all the teams for their good sportsmanship and fair play.
As the season for the youth football league ended, the Parks and Recreation Department turned its attention to the Bradley County Youth Basketball season which is now under way. Sixty-six teams will participate in this program this season which will end in February. More than 1,000 kids will participate in the basketball and cheerleading programs.
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. Director Paul 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 at our recreation facilities while continually planning ahead for the next team sport.
Recently, they worked with Amanda Whitley from the county’s Stormwater Division to plant more than 400 trees and shrubs at Elrod Park on Minnis Road. This was an important step in getting the new park ready for sporting activities in the near future. The tree planting was part of wetland mitigation mandated by TDEC for the park and Minnis Road widening project. The two-day planting project also involved several student volunteers from local schools.
Several other improvements to our sports facilities have been made in recent weeks. The dugouts at the field for the 11/12 year- olds have been completed at the County Recreational Park and the dugouts at the softball complex have been painted. The department also installed power service to the scoreboard at the Charleston football stadium. All outdoor facilities have been winterized by the department and the staff continues to service the scoreboards for the local schools to ensure they are working properly for the basketball season.
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 I say that Bradley County is Tennessee at its best.