By Keeli Parkey

The Unicoi County High School football program is inviting boys in third, fourth and fifth grades to play in a new league this summer.

“It is an exciting time for Unicoi County football,” head coach Drew Rice said. “We are announcing the creation of our new flag football league backed by the National Football League’s flag football program. These players will have the opportunity to play in an official NFL jersey with classmates from across the county.”

Rice said tryouts will be held on Saturday, July 29. Practice will begin on Monday, Aug. 1, with games starting on Thursday, Aug. 17.

“Teams will play at least five games and have a playoff leading up to the Blue Devil Bowl to be played on Sept. 28,” Rice said. “All games will be played at Gentry Stadium and the entire season will be completed by the beginning of fall break.”

Rice described the new league as “a top priority for our football program as a whole.”

“We believe that for our high school team to be successful, we must begin cultivating well rounded football players at the elementary age,” Rice said. “This league, which is fully backed by both Unicoi County schools and the National Football League, plans to be the first step in a very successful football career for these young athletes.”

The cost of the league, which includes a reversible jersey, flags and player/parent membership in USA Football, is $40. Players should register online at https://www.nflflag.com/form/player (where they should select Tennessee/Unicoi County Football League). Checks should be made payable to UCFL and mailed to Unicoi County Middle School Attention: Coach Hensley, 599 S. Mohawk Dr., Erwin, TN 37650.

For more information, contact Rice at 743-1632 or ricea@unicoischools.com or contact assistant coach Jason Hensley at 735-0236 or hensleyj@unicoischools.com.