Pewee football is back at Springwood

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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The athletic program at Springwood has seen a tremendous amount of growth over the past two years. The Wildcats added a volleyball program and saw success on the football field over the past two seasons. Now, the program will be lacing up the football pads again, this time with the pewee program. 

The Wildcats have had a pewee football program in the past, but it had been dead in the water since the early 2000s. On Monday, athletic director Joey Burch announced on social media that the program would be back in the fall. 

Burch and Springwood decided to start the program as an effort to build up Springwood’s athletic program and build loyalty and pride among the elementary school students.

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“We’ve had a good number of elementary kids join the Springwood family,” Burch said. “We wanted them to have a little bit more of a connection with us. We’ve had kids that were playing rec league in West Point or Lanett. 

“We’re glad that they were able to play, but they just didn’t have the Springwood name on their jersey. We’re just trying to build some community, pride and loyalty here with Springwood. We thought that if we got them involved at a younger age we could keep them involved and grow all of our programs.” 

The program is primarily for kids ages 12 and under, but the Wildcats will have some fourth-graders playing along with some tough and energetic third graders. 

Springwood’s football program has struggled with participation in the past. The Wildcats nearly lost the football program altogether just under three years ago. The team eventually switched from traditional football to 8-man football. 

Springwood has seen a ton of success in 8-man football, with the Wildcats finishing as the state runner-up in back-to-back seasons. The success of the program has created more interest within the community and school. 

Burch hopes to see Springwood’s football team grow in numbers and eventually start playing 11-man football again. With the birth of the Pewee football program, Burch believes that these kids will be the future of Springwood’s football program and the program will help the football team’s participation along the way. 

“That’s the reason we’re doing it,” Burch said. “We’re playing 8-man right now because we don’t have the numbers. Our guys can compete with anybody, but we just don’t have the numbers to compete with 11-man schools. With this group that’s coming up, we’ll be able to play 11-man pewee ball, and we hope to just work them all the way up to where they play a junior high schedule and be able to get back to 11-man football with this group.” 

The program does not have coaches for the Pewee program, but the school will begin looking for coaches later this week as they also post listings for some of the other coaching needs at Springwood. 

Football, like most other sports, is not something that you can just pick up and immediately be elite at. Skillsets are built at the youth level, and Burch hopes to see his program foster talent at an early age. 

“I just think it’s something huge that’s been lacking here,” Burch said. “We have a lot of interest and excitement growing around our program lately. We just want it to filter down to a younger age. As they mature and go through our junior high, middle school and varsity programs. They’ll be more prepared and just have a love for the game that was instilled at a younger age.” 

Springwood’s athletic program has seen a lot of growth over the past two years, and Burch wants to see more youth programs develop at Springwood. Burch wants to see a rec league baseball, basketball and soccer program develop over the next few years.

Burch will likely not be the head coach of the Pewee team, but he will be very involved with the team. Former athletes and high school coaches are already expressing excitement about helping with the program. 

Starting the program cost approximately $8,000, but Springwood received a large amount of that cost from its booster club. The school had to buy some equipment, but they received a lot of help from alumni and local businesses along the way. 

The Wildcats will open their youth program with a game at home against Chambers Academy on Aug. 27. The season will last eight games.