LAKE WYLIE -- More youth sports options are not deterring Xtreme Youth Sports, a Christian sports organization founded in 2006 now preparing for its second football season.
"Our families know where we are and what we're all about," said Jack Evans, group founder. "Xtreme Youth Sports is here to stay."
Sign-ups for football and cheerleading are now being held throughout Lake Wylie, Steele Creek, Tega Cay and other areas. The program is sponsored by the American Youth Football League, which is different from the Pop Warner program that will be offered through the new Lake Wylie Athletic Association, which is holding its inaugural baseball season celebration Saturday at Crowders Creek schools. That means teams from Xtreme Youth Sports and the Lake Wylie Athletic Association will not play each other.
"They had a problem with us playing across the bridge, so we didn't do that," Evans said of the Pop Warner program, did not want the group that to cross state lines for games.
Lake Wylie teams play Steele Creek and other Charlotte area teams. Last year, nine teams and 450 players competed in Xtreme football, with three of those teams based in Lake Wylie. Evans expects more than the 72 Lake Wylie players last year for the second season, and he hopes to add more Lake Wylie teams. He also expects to find out soon which fields the Clover School District will allow him to use for Lake Wylie home games.
"It's going to be quite different," Evans said. "We didn't have that last year."
Xtreme football and cheerleading are open to boys and girls aged 6 to 15. All coaches are certified, and any child is welcome to play without tryouts.
"We were praying about what to name the program and we came up with Xtreme because our children are extreme, not in emphasizing the sport but in emphasizing the child," said Brenda Evans, executive director and cheer commissioner. "We want every one of our children to know that they're loved, that they're special and that they're very extreme in the eyesight of God."
Jack Evans hopes to work with the Clover School District to use local fields for his program, and eventually would like to add baseball, soccer and basketball to the list of options for Lake Wylie youth.
Evans is confident that the success of his first season will bring families back for the second football season, as well as other sports to come.
"We're going to keep doing it for the kids and for the love of the game, because that's who we are," he said.
The first practice is June 7, followed by the first game Aug. 19 and a jamboree Aug. 26.
For more information about Xtreme Youth Sports, including sign-ups, visit xtremeyouthsports.com.