GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Gautier has started its first ever city league football program. On Saturday, they had 155 youth sign up for ages ranging from 5 to 12-years-old. The football program is just one of the efforts Gautier is making to add more recreational activities to the city.
The city has never sponsored an organized football league until now. One of the coaches is Jamie Smith. In years past, parents had made many attempts to organize a league. Smith himself had been one of them, which is why he is relieved the city has taken it over.
"It's a lot of work for just one person. And being a coach, I understand the stresses and ins and outs of it, but without having the city backing on it, it's really hard," said Smith.
City officials were very impressed with the tremendous amount of feedback they have received. Keith Young who is the Cultural services manager for the city said he hopes the youth will learn more than just how to catch a football.
"They will get life skills out of playing football out here and that's what us coming on board. The City of Gautier, is actually trying to do for the kids," said Young.
According to Young, every coach had to be USA Certified. That's a move, first time coach Coddell Hall, didn't mind taking.
"As an adult in this community we have to give back to the kids. They have so few things that they can do around here and this league just brings so much positivity to Gautier," said Hall.
This year's registration fee was $90. It pays for the boy's uniforms, helmets, and pads. If the league continues to have successful registrations like this year, they hope that fee can be lowered or even waived in the future.