Youth football may be coming to Middletown

MIDDLETOWN – The town is continuing its campaign to attract more youth sports to its fields.

Stephens City Seminoles youth football organizers recently reached out to Mayor Charles Harbaugh about allowing them to use one of the town’s fields as its designated home field for practice and games. The request was heard Tuesday evening at a Public Works Committee meeting. League President Donald Lewis was at the meeting with organizers Mike Flanagan and Josh Root.

“We are committed to providing a solid foundation that will facilitate growth into quality individuals. We strongly believe that team sports are a great way to build character, self-esteem, sportsmanship, and leadership. Kids who participate in youth sports perform better in school and are more likely to have a positive impact on fellow students and in their respective communities,” Flanagan and Root wrote in a prepared statement given to committee members.

The league proposes to pay $100 per game to use the outfield of the old baseball diamond at the town park.

Hours of use would be specified in a contract to be hammered out this week.

Games would run from September into November, organizers said at the meeting.

The league would be responsible for the purchase and installation of goal posts, which would have to be removed after the season for other use.

The league would also carry its own insurance, organizers said.

Committee members liked what they heard and asked town attorney J. David Griffin to write up a one-year contract for everyone to review and sign.

They agreed practice could begin but until the contract is finalized the league can begin conditioning and practice but without any touching.

A public hearing on the proposal has to be held, and then a special Town Council meeting will have to be called to approve the agreement in time before games begin in the second week of September.

The league is new and was having problems finding a field to rent. Root said he knew Harbaugh from school and reached out to him for help.

Harbaugh noted: “Sports, arts are all important to child development. This is very important to me. I love youth football.”

He said he likes the idea of area residents being able to come to Middletown’s park and watch baseball and, hopefully soon, football.