Peewee football in Searcy is back on this year after being canceled last season because of COVID-19, and so is the Searcy Advertising and Tourism Promotion Commission’s pledge of $30,000 for equipment and other needs.

A&P Chairman Commission Chris Howell invited Cody Chapman, president of the Searcy Optimist Club Pee Wee Football Program board, to speak to the commission Tuesday, so everybody would be on the same page, knowing that the A&P revenue not used last year because of the virus was still good to be used this year.

Chapman said the program, with third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, will be going into travel league play this year.

He said the program is planning to order 100-120 helmets, shoulder pads and practice equipment “that should run about $15,000.”

“We need to redress a field, which won’t be this summer but early next spring, maybe February, March of next year,” Chapman said, adding that it will cost between $5,000 and $7,000. “... And then our clocks – not our scoreboard, but two game clocks – Rainey Electronics, the one who maintenances all the scoreboards, they said those are obsolete. They said they got them working but in the future they are not going to be able to do the maintenance on them because they don’t have the equipment and parts, so we are looking at changing those.”

He said it will cost around $2,000 per clock next August to change them out.

“So that is the bulk of what we’re spending the money on,” Chapman said.

Chapman told The Daily Citizen that practice for peewee football starts Aug. 1. There will be camps in mid-July and league play should begin about the end of August.

City Attorney Buck Gibson said that since this is a travel league it should be bringing visitors to Searcy, and Chapman agreed, saying there would be four to six home games and a jamboree every so many years.

“Right now. there’s 10 teams in the league, the biggest ones being Greenbrier, Bald Knob, Batesville and Heber Springs,” Chapman said. “So we will be playing those teams as well as I think Quitman and Vilonia. There may be a couple more added, like Maumelle and Morrilton, so it’s growing. I don’t know how many home games we will have, but it’s growing.”

Chapman said there should at least be four homes games on the weekends the Searcy teams are at home.

Gibson asked if advertising would be sold to help the program.

“Yes, we are going to do signs on the new fences,” Chapman said. “We are going to try to keep four main sponsors that we’ll have some sort of logo on all the jerseys. The jerseys will be the same for all grades, but we will have different logos for the sponsors.”

Chapman said there was a drainage issue at the peewee football field on Queensway Street that needs be fixed. “We are going to have to dig up a drain and move it a little bit,” he said.

The commission reapproved the funding after Gibson said a motion was needed for that since the request was from last year.

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