ENGLEWOOD — The Englewood Family YMCA and the Englewood Cats continue to plan for football-based fun this summer with a flag football season that continues Saturday at the YMCA.

For their part, the Englewood Cats organization held a picnic-barbeque Sunday to attract youths to the sports program. A fire near Ann Dever Park cut short the barbecue. Still, about 40 to 50 youths showed up for the barbecue, but there was plenty of fun to be had.

“We had a pretty good number out Sunday,” said Greg Truisi, the president of the Cats. “We think we can get more kids out. The get-together Sunday gave kids a chance to know more about the program.”

At the YMCA Saturday, kids went through drills and lessons before playing games. They threw and ran with the ball, according to flag football rules. The games are expected to continue this Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. and going to 11:30 a.m. The kids are divided into two age divisions; 7-9 and 10-14 years old.

The games will continue to July 22. After that, the Cats’ practices for the fall season will begin.

“We hope to have four teams for the fall,” Truisi said. “Usually, teams have a 5-7 age group flag team, plus four older division tackle teams.”

The Cats have moved to American Youth Football and will play in the Manatee Youth Football Conference this fall along with the North Port Huskies who have been a consistent contender in the conference. Except for the Cats and Huskies, most of the conference’s organizations are from Manatee County.

Following the regular season, the conference playoffs will be held, followed then by the regionals. Also, youths don’t have to live in Englewood to play for the Cats.

Youths can still sign up for the flag football camp at the Family YMCA. The fee for the full 10 weeks is $50 for YMCA members and $60 for non-members.

For more information about the flag program, visit www.swflymca.org. For more about the Englewood Cats, visit www.englewoodcats.com.

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