Volunteer group wants to build youth football field in Seaford

A group of Seaford area citizens are offering their volunteer services to help construct a youth football field in Seaford. Seaford has been home to the Nanticoke Youth Football program for over four decades. Youth who participate in the football league have traditionally played at a field in Williams Pond Park. Now youth sports supporters feel there is a need to have a better class field for the young people to utilize. Paul Davis of Seaford is heading up a group effort to help Seaford build a new football field that will enable enhanced football opportunities for local young people. In addition to the Nanticoke Youth Football program, there has also been a recent interest in an NFL Flag Football League. Davis recognizes the power of volunteers. His wife, Amanda, recently spearheaded a community project that recruited volunteers to build the Jay's Nest playground near the Ross Mansion and new Seaford Sports Complex. Using the same concept, Davis feels his committee of volunteers can build a "first-class" football field and save the city a great deal of money. Councilman Ron MacArthur, a liaison to the Seaford Department of Parks and Recreation, applauds Davis' group and during the Feb. 11, meeting of Mayor and Council he encouraged the city to support the project and give its blessings. He said the city has plans for two youth football fields in the Seaford Sports Complex, however, funding has made it impossible to pursue these at present. "This is a wonderful thing this group is doing," MacArthur said. "The city does not have the funds to build the field, but we can get behind this group and help in any way we can." MacArthur said he could make no commitments on behalf of the city, however, he is sure should money become available in the city's budget, some could be designated toward the football field project. Davis proposes allowing his group to do the physical labor necessary to build the field and recruit local support for funds to pay for the costs associated with the project. He said it is the goal of the committee to install all new equipment at the filed including goal posts and bleachers. Because of the number of football leagues in the area in order to assure the availability of game officials, it is necessary to play some football games in the evening hours. This makes field lighting an important component in the construction of the field. "We want a high quality, low maintenance field," Davis said. "If the city will just promise us the land, we will do all the work." Davis estimates the project will cost about $110,000. This includes grade work at the site ($40,000), field lighting ($40,000) and necessary equipment such as goal posts and bleachers ($30,000). The group hopes that with the city's approval and "blessings" the group can begin soliciting financial and volunteer support from the area. Davis said the group would like to have about $40,000 raised before breaking ground and moving forward with the project. "This would allow us enough money to do the grade work, irrigation and the laying of sod at the site," he said. Davis said he knows that the project is an aggressive one; however he said he has seen first hand what can be done when a community sees a need and gets involved. He said the goal of the committee is to have the field ready for play by start of the football season in September. "We have access to some used goal posts and bleachers that we could use to get by on until we are able to finish the fund raising for the project," he said. Davis estimates the project construction could take about 60 days from start to finish. It is estimated that by having the volunteer committee do the work associated with the construction of the football field, there will be a savings on the project of about $20,000 and $25,000. MacArthur made a motion that the city council supports the volunteer committee in its efforts to build the new youth football field. The Seaford council gave unanimous approval to allow the group to begin its fundraising and eventual construction at the field site in the new Seaford Sports Complex.

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