Scouting the future

Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Local high school football teams are preparing to enter the fourth week of their seasons. Washington, Northside and Southside fans have seen plenty of great action so far this season. East Carolina football returned to the gridiron recently, too, with a 52-7 rout of Western Carolina this past weekend.

There’s still more football upcoming. The local youth leagues start up on Sept. 17. The Washington Youth Football League has traditionally attracted a decent following each Saturday morning throughout the season. The crowd typically consists of parents who want to support and watch their children develop.

The WYFL also presents an opportunity for local football fans to see what the future holds for the area’s middle school and high school teams. Most of the impact players at the high-school level learned the fundamentals of football during their time playing youth ball.

The competition can be pretty impressive. A lot of the kids are coming into their own from a fundamental standpoint, but the raw talent and athleticism is still there. Seeing a 10-year-old explode on a 40-yard run is something to behold.

Beaufort County has produced some top-notch football players over the years. Former NFL players Terrance Copper and C.J. Wilson are just two notable names who learned their craft playing locally. There’s also current ECU receiver Jimmy Williams, who caught a touchdown pass in the Pirates’ season opener on Saturday.

There are plenty of reasons to check out youth football in the area. Fans can get a glimpse of the area’s next superstar or simply show a little support for friends and family. It can even provide a nice, early-morning prelude to some of the college games that kick off later in the day.

Whatever the reason, football fans won’t be disappointed if they take some time out of their Saturday morning sports routine to get a glimpse of the area’s up-and-comers.