It’s Sertoma football time

Photos by Roger Lee/Journal Scene Older players wear helmets and shoulder pads for advanced drills during Sertoma Football Camp sessions.

Area youngsters will soon make the switch from swimsuits to helmets and shoulder pads.

The Summerville Sertoma Club is gearing up for its 2014 youth football season. The club, which has sponsored a youth football league in Summerville since the 1970’s, opens registration Aug. 2.

Last year the program fielded approximately 40 teams with some 1,000 players ages 5 to 12. The program has four leagues or age divisions: Mighty Mites (5-6), Bantam (7-8), A-League (9-10) and B-League (11-12). Teams in all divisions play tackle football except those in the Mighty Mites division, which play flag football.

“Our goals include teaching players the basic football fundamentals and helping them develop a love for the game,” Summerville Sertoma Club President Derrick Grimes said. “Players also learn lessons about hard work, discipline and problem solving. There are a lot of benefits to Sertoma Football.”

Multiple registration dates have been scheduled in August. All registration will be held at the Azalea Hut/Cuthbert Building located at105 West Fifth Street in Summerville. Players will be placed in divisions based on how old they will be Sept. 1, 2014.

Players must be present to register and need to bring their birth certificate or a military ID as well as their medical insurance information.

The club is also preparing for its final football camp of the summer, which is scheduled for July 28-31 at the Gahagan Park football field. The camp is designed for youth age 6-15. Sessions will be held from 6-8 p.m. Registration for the camp is available for $75 through

“There’s no contact but coaches use drills to help players develop their blocking and tackling techniques and a variety of other skills,” Grimes said. “We break it up into different stations and divide the campers based on their age so the older ones can do more advanced drills.”

Summerville Sertoma football will open its season Sept. 6. Plans are for all games to be played at Gahagan Park this year.

The Summerville Sertoma Club also provides direct support to local and national speech and hearing impaired programs; food to the needy; donations to feed the elderly; scholarships for young students and athletes; national heritage contests and awards; and a number of other worthwhile programs.

“As a volunteer club we could always use fresh members,” Grimes said. “We support a lot of causes and that takes manpower. We would like to see our club and our football program grow. The football program attracts players from all around the area, not just Summerville, but there are still a lot more kids we could reach.”