Chelsea, Helena middle schools to play in metro league

Published 12:05 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

Chelsea Middle School and Helena Middle School will be playing in the Metro Middle School Football League this fall.

“We’re excited, it’s a new challenge,” Helena Middle School coach David Lee said. “We’re playing different schools, people we haven’t played before.”

The league has a positive reputation as 16 of the last 24 state championships from the highest division, and seven of the last 27 state championships from the second-highest division have come from these programs.

“I’ve told the kids it’s the Southeastern Conference of middle school football,” Chelsea Middle School coach Christopher Wortham said.

Chelsea and Helena officially entered into the league in January, rounding out the northern and southern divisions to seven teams respectively.

“The guys in the metro conference were great, receptive of our joining their conference and expanding the two teams,” Lee said.

For the last game of the season there is a type of playoff where the north and south teams face off against one another, Wortham said.

“When we had the opportunity to get into the league, get voted into the league, we jumped into it, to try and see if we can make that happen,” Wortham said. “Even when I was at Oak Mountain I was trying to get my alma mater at the league.”

Both Chelsea and Helena will be facing entirely new teams in the metro league.

“A lot of the kids know each other from growing up, playing park ball with each other,” Lee said. “I’m feeling there will be some new rivalries struck up on the middle school level.”

Chelsea’s first game of the league will be in a jamboree against Liberty Park on Friday, Aug. 19.

“I knew the challenge, having been the middle school coach at Oak Mountain, that it was always challenging playing these teams,” Wortham said. “The kids are excited about it and I’m really excited about it.”

Helena’s first game of the season will be against Homewood on Saturday, Aug. 20.

“We’re not really doing anything different, we’re just reminding them that they’re going to play somebody with just as many kids.” Lee said. “To our kids it doesn’t matter who is on the other side, it’s just an opponent.”