By Kyle LoJacono
Hillsborough County has offered adult softball for at least 10 years, but until now there was nothing for weekend warriors looking to live out their football dreams.
The Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department is launching an adult 4-on-4 flag football league with games starting Wednesday, Jan. 19 and continuing for 10 weeks.
“We’ve had a lot of calls from people interested in adult football,” said Charlie Jones, adult sports coordinator for the department.
The season will have one game each week, followed by playoffs for the top-two teams from each of the five league sites. One of those locations is the Keystone Recreation Center, 17928 Gunn Highway in Odessa.
“We have the space and there is a demand for adult programs at the Keystone facility,” said department spokesman John Brill.
Jones said the number of teams will be based on how many people register. He said if things go well they may offer the league multiple times during the year.
“We thought winter would be the best time to start because it isn’t hot yet and people are looking for ways to exercise after making New Year’s resolutions,” Jones said. “Football is so popular, so it was the natural sport to pick.”
The games will be at either 6:45, 7:30 or 8:15 p.m. each Wednesday. Teams will have eight players who must be at least 18 years old to participate. The cost is $250 per squad.
“We also are taking individuals,” Jones said. “They can sign up and we’ll put them on a team.”
Jones said teams can either pay the fee, or as many have with the county’s softball program, get sponsorships from businesses. All participants receive a T-shirt, and the top two squads from each location also receive awards.
Jones said there is a good chance the county will offer more adult programs in the future, including a wiffle ball league. Those interested in the football program or any other adult league with the department can sign up by calling Jones at (813) 744-5595 ext. 225.
“We’re always trying to offer more programs for our community,” Jones said. “We welcome any ideas or insight on how to give the best services to our citizens.”