Jackson's youth play on upgraded soccer, football fields

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jackson loves its children. And it loves its sports. That commitment is reflected in the investment in playing fields scattered around town.

Some of the more recent improvements includes major park upgrades for the youth soccer and football programs.

The Jackson Soccer Park, on Route PP, is a 27-acre complex with 17 fields. Nearly 700 players on the 42 teams making up the recreational youth leagues take advantage of the complex during the spring and fall seasons.

The youth soccer league is opened to youngsters ages 5 through 14.

In addition to the recreational leagues, several travelling soccer teams also practice and play at the soccer park. And two of the fields can accommodate adult games.

League members continuously work to improve the fields. Two fields that were having trouble growing grass were recently sprigged with bermuda grass by volunteers from the league. Now the field is a lush carpet of grass.

The Jackson Area Youth Football League moved into its new home at the Jackson Football Park in 2008.

The league, which is open to children in grades two through seven, currently has two fields open for play, both with lights and bleachers. The JAYFL has around 350 players, many who no doubt aspire to play for the tradition-rich Jackson Indians when they reach high school.

Work is progressing on the addition of three playing fields and one practice field to the football park. The work is being done with volunteer labor and funds raised by the league.

"The goal is to have the new fields ready for the fall of 2010," said Jackson Parks and Recreation director Shane West Anderson.

The Jackson Football Park is on West Jackson Boulevard between West Main Street and Route PP