The Tri-County Sports Authority has been giving youth in this area the opportunity to learn the game of football for ten years now, and after a decade of success, current TCSA President Chad Estep says that he is excited about what the future will hold for the organization.
“We started out small, but we have continued to grow each year,” said Estep. “Now, in our tenth year of existence, we are trying to expand again, and adapt to being one of the only youth football organizations left functioning in this area.”
Estep explained that due to increased expenses and stringent new guidelines, many youth football leagues have been forced to fold in recent years. The TCSA continues to press on, however, thanks in large part to an outpouring of community support and awareness.
Estep admitted that things are a little more challenging these days compared to when the league first began ten years ago, but he said that he expects 2016 to be another huge success, with 300-plus youngsters expected to play this fall.
The TCSA splits its football league up into three divisions – Flag (ages 5-7), Junior League (ages 8-9) and Little League (ages 10-12). Games will typically take place on Saturdays each week after the season begins in late August, with some games being played on weekdays depending on the local middle school schedule. Games are never held on Fridays in order to avoid any conflicts with high school competitions.
The season will last until Fall Break, with some All-Star events taking place after that. All regular season games will take place at the fields next to the Corbin Civic Center.
If you have a child that is interested in taking part in the 2016 TCSA football season, you will have the opportunity to sign them up at one of three upcoming camps. On Monday, July 25, former UK players Freddie Maggard and George Massey will be on hand to help with a camp. On Tuesday, July 26, Corbin High School track and cross country Head Coach Tyler Harris will be on hand to conduct a speed and conditioning camp. And on Thursday, July 28, Corbin Middle School football Head Coach Brent Jackson will be on hand to conduct a camp.
All of these camps will be totally free of charge, and will take place at the Corbin Civic Center from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. each day. Kids can attend any or all camps.
The TCSA will be doing signups and physicals during each camp, with July 28 being the last day that players can sign up to play this season. Cost of participation is $85 per child, which is the same fee that the TCSA has been charging each year since its football league began.
The TCSA offers its players a unique opportunity to learn much of the same terminology, and many of the same play formations, used by both Coach Jackson at the middle school level, and by Coach Justin Haddix at the high school level.
Estep said that he considers this league to be a true feeder program, but he also wanted to stress that children from anywhere are invited to come to Corbin to participate. “We do reach out to more than just Corbin kids,” he said. “We have kids from all over the area that want to come here to play, and we welcome and encourage them to do so.”
The benefits of the Tri-County Sports Authority’s youth football program are very evident when you look at the success that the CMS and CHS football programs have enjoyed in recent years. The middle school Hounds have won multiple state championships, and the high school Hounds are making deep runs into the postseason each year.
“Looking back, we can see the impact that the TCSA has had beginning at the middle school level,” said Estep when asked to consider the difference his organization has made over the past ten years. “And as you go on into high school, you can see that progression continue. I believe that what the kids learn here has helped Corbin to become more competitive with many of the elite high school programs in the state of Kentucky.”
If you would like to receive more information on the TCSA, visit them online at tricountysportsauthority.com. They are also active on social media, on Facebook, and on Twitter (@TCSAFootball).
The News Journal will have more coverage of TCSA football in the weeks and months ahead.