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Russellville Parks, Rec numbers drop amid COVID-19

Russellville Parks and Recreation is seeing a drop in numbers as registration for fall sports yields a low turnout amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parks and Recreation will not have football or cheerleading this year after not enough participants registered.

“I think everything with COVID-19 is giving parents a real scare,” said Parks and Recreation Director Donnie Flanigan. “I know school is starting back soon, so I guess parents thought it was too soon to have their child get involved with sports.”

The department is holding signups for fall softball for $50 through Aug. 15 and fall co-ed soccer for $35 through Aug. 29. Signups for volleyball are expected to begin in the upcoming weeks.

Flanigan said normally softball is not offered in the fall, but it made sense to offer it this year after the spring season had to be canceled.

He said numbers for softball are currently low, but he is hopeful to have enough to be able to offer it.

There are already enough participants to offer soccer because of parents choosing to have their registration roll over to the fall after the spring season was canceled.

Anyone who chose to have their registration roll over does not need to re-register, only wait for a coach to call. Flanigan said he expects 16 total teams for soccer.

Soccer will be inner-league, with teams playing other Russellville teams, but softball teams will travel to play teams from other cities.

Flanigan said practices will include social distancing, recommending students wear masks and additional cleaning protocols.

“We are trying to follow the guidelines the AHSAA has set up as best as we can in terms of protocols,” Flanigan said. “We just want these kids to be safe and healthy while having a good time.”

Flanigan said he encourages everyone to come support Parks and Recreation once games begin by cheering the local youth teams.

To sign up for any Parks and Recreation sport, visit the Recreation Center or call 256-332-8770 for more information.