Kickoff: Youth football programs gearing up for summer season

Flag football added for first and second graders

Youth football is about to kick off for the season through Hood River Community Education. Registration for a new flag football program for first- and second-graders, the annual Gorge Tackle Football league for 3rd-6th-graders, two middle school teams and the annual Blue and Gold camp is open now. In addition to registering kids as soon as possible, parents are encouraged to participate in the youth programs by volunteering their time as coaches and team helpers. For more information, to register or to volunteer visit or call 541-386-2055.

n Flag football: A new offering this year by Hood River Community Education, flag football for 1st-2nd-graders, is now open to registration. The co-ed league is non-contact and is aimed at providing youngsters with a chance to have fun together and learn the basic rules, formations and skills in of football. Players will meet twice a week and will be divided into teams for games. Registration is $50, players will meet starting Aug. 8 and games will run September through early October.

n Gorge Tackle football: Divided into 3rd/4th grade and 5th/6th grade groups, the 12th annual Gorge Tackle Football League starts Aug. 12. Registration is $100, which includes the use of pads and helmets. The season consists of two practices a week held locally and six games, held between Hood River, White Salmon, Stevenson, Lyle, Goldendale and The Dalles.

n Middle School football: Hood River County will field one 7th- and one 8th-grade team this year to participate in Columbia River League tackle football action. Registration is $100 for the season and includes use of equipment. Practices start Aug. 19 and players need to have a current physical, insurance and required paperwork in order to play.

n Youth football camp: For grades 1-8, the annual Blue and Gold camp runs Aug. 5-8 at Hood River Valley High School and is run by HRVHS football coaches and players. The camp focuses on technique, fundamentals and drills used in the high school program and is timed to serve as a boost for youth tackle leagues that immediately follow.

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