Columbiana youth leagues ramp back up after spring seasons canceled

COLUMBIANA – Columbiana has announced registration dates for fall youth football and cheerleading, several months after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of spring sports seasons.

Opening day for spring sports was scheduled for March 14.

“The day before opening day was when everything hit,” Columbiana City Councilman Ricky Ruston said. “That’s when everything started getting shut down, so we had no choice but to postpone.”

Instead of cancelling immediately like most leagues, Columbiana youth sports waited as long as possible to try to play the season.

“We went until mid-April. At that time there was an update from the governor and no indication that we were going to be able to start, so we canceled the season,” Ruston said. “We were one of the last leagues in the county to cancel. We just put so much work into it. It was important to our kids. It was important to our volunteers. It was heartbreaking, but it is what it is.”

Previously, the worst-case scenario for organizers was the threat of rainouts or cold weather, Ruston said, but the pandemic has been much worse.

Fortunately, football and cheerleading registration information was released recently.

Football usually begins conditioning around the first of August and then moves into the season that last through October.

Baseball and softball, meanwhile, usually start at the end of August and go through October.

Ruston said guidelines, including additional sanitation practices, will be put in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Guidelines could include recommendations from Dr. Larry Lemak’s ASPIRE Sports Institute in the areas of safety, training and implementation.

The information will be shared with leagues and families, Ruston said.

“Everything is evolving, and as we go forward, things may change and they may stay the same,” he said. “It’s a long process.”

Football and cheer registration for children ages 6-11 (by Aug. 1) will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on June 13, and from 5-8 p.m. on both June 15 and July 10.

Registration will take place at the Sports Complex, at 189 McDow Road in Columbiana.

Costs are $165 for the first child registered, $145 for the second child and then $135 for each additional sibling.

There is also a $20 concession fee per family.

A birth certificate is required at the time of registration.

For more information visit ShelbyCountyFootball.com, the organization’s Facebook page or email shelbycountyyouthfootball@gmail.com.

For information about baseball, visit SCYBaseball.com, and for information about softball, visit ColumbianaGirlsSoftball.com.