Kids in the Fort Benning area interested in playing youth football during the spring can register to play on the 2011 Benning Patriots of the Youth Indoor Football League.
Registration is 6 to 8 p.m. Monday to Wednesday from and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 12 at the Columbus Civic Center.
This will be the second year the Patriots play in the Youth Indoor Football League and players can expect to see many improvements, head coach Brent Martin said. An 11- to 13-year-old age group is being added along with a 9- to 10-year-old that will play again this year.
Registration will cost $200 this year as opposed to $85 last year, but there will be extra benefits for the players who sign up, Martin said. All players will receive a custom football jersey, pants, socks and a team helmet designed to look like the professional jerseys and helmets of the New England Patriots. The registration will also cover a preseason skills camp conducted by players and staff of the Columbus Lions, a preseason jamboree at the Columbus Civic Center and one season ticket for all Columbus Lions home games. Players will also get a player development package that includes a practice planner, illustrations of drills and a playbook.
The registration fee can also be waived if a child is able to sell two Lions season tickets. Head coach Brent Martin said the emphasis of this year will be to teach players the fundamentals of the game to prepare them for competition they will face in the future.
“Everything I teach are things they can carry with them,” Martin said. “It will be very valuable to them going into high school.”
Players of all experience levels are encouraged to register. Martin said with the new coaching staff, he will be able to work with players on an individual basis.
“Kids who have never played football before can be taught to play well at a high level,” he said. “If you give that kid an individual coach who can work with him and teach him how to play the game, it can have a lasting effect on him.”
With the player development package, players can also improve their skill on their own time.
“If we’re not getting our point across, they can even run some of these drills together in their off time,” Martin said.
The 9- to 10-year-old Patriots will be in a league of four teams while the 11- to13-year-old Patriots will be in a league of 10 teams. Each age group will play 10 games during the season. Martin is looking to fill 20 spots on each team’s roster. Each team in the 9- to 10-year-old league will compete in a playoff while the top four teams in the 11- to 13-year-old league will advance into a playoff.
For more information, contact Jason Gibson at 706-322-3336 or e-mail Brent Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.