A local minor football league is getting ready to kick off a new season this September, but dwindling player registrations might end up holding things back.
Nick Lajoie, a coach for the Victoria Spartans, says both the midget and bantam divisions are struggling to recruit enough players for the upcoming football season.
Lajoie, who coaches the midget division, says there’s about 15 players registered so far—but they need 43. The bantam division is in a similar situation.
“It’s quite a drop-off this year,” he says.
While he isn’t sure exactly what’s behind the low numbers, Lajoie suggested that having the option of playing in a high school league, or fear of concussion-related injuries, could be factors.
Right now, there are enough players to field a nine-man team, but not enough for a full 12-man team.
Practices have already started, with midget and bantam teams playing together. Lajoie says that both teams will need to commit by the beginning of August in order to play in September, though there might be some leeway if they can get numbers up by mid-month.
Lajoie says kids of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to register—no experience or equipment necessary. “Everything is supplied with the exception of football cleats,” he says. “We only practice two nights as well as one game a week.”
Players who are interested can register online at the Victoria Spartans registration page.