Sports

Pee-wee football finally has a home of its own

"It's ironic how high school football is the show in Port Orchard, but the local pee wee football program has struggled to even have a stage of its own.After years of needing permission to play on the Babe Ruth baseball field behind Givens Community Center, pee wee football is on its way to having its own football field at South Kitsap Community Park.We got through the meat and potatoes and now just need to dot the Is and cross the Ts, Ken Hansen said.Hansen, a football parent and one of the contributors of the new field proposal, said the former executive board was falling apart and needed to be reformed because pee wee football is becoming a disorganized league.But it turned out to be a good omen for Hansen and other parents who decided to step in and make changes.A lot of parents were disgruntled with the old board, Hansen said. But it forced us to do something about it.Some parents came up with the idea to ask South Kitsap Parks and Recreation if they'd be interested in being the home for pee wee football.Hansen said it didn't take much to convince park district manager, Ben Howlett.We (some parents) went down last August and talked to Ben about it and he was very enthusiastic about the idea, Hansen said. We got a new board and started the process. We have some big plans.Howlett said he is excited for the opportunity to give the community an outlet for youth sports.I've seen so much lost opportunity in our community for recreation sports, Howlett said. It (pee wee football) is highly reputable and I think the community supports it. I can't wait to see the little kids go. It will make for some cute pictures.Pat Pederson, chairwoman of the Park Commissioners, said the board voted unanimously to approve the football field.No commissioner could give a reason not to do this, Pederson said. Right now we just need to work on the details to get the cost down.Because the parks district is a non-profit organization, cutting down on spending is important since we are not out to make money, Peterson said.Hansen said the plan includes using a large portion of an unused field adjacent to the softball field parallel with Jackson Avenue.They will put up goalposts, bring in a concession stand and scoreboard, and hopefully have portable bleachers.Pee wee football will eventually have lights too, but Hansen said because of its $25,000 price tag, that project will be on hold until next year.The majority of funding will come from fundraising, sponsorship, and registration fees.But the fees will only run $5 per player, and the league also offers scholarships for those who can't afford to play. Hansen said the league has consisted of 160 players and eight teams.He hopes the new home will attract 190-200 players.We're hoping to make this a class A field, Hansen said. We hope this can grow to 200 players and keep growing from there.The season runs four months out of the year from August to November, and Hansen said the field will be available to others during the off-season, with the only cost being the use of the lights."

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