Photo courtesy of South County Spartans. The football team walking onto the field.

The South County Spartans Athletic Program (SCSAP), located in the Riverview/SouthShore area, had a great first season with football and cheer, with about 160 kids combined. The program offers wrestling, golf, football (flag and tackle) and cheerleading. They are looking to add other sports as well, such as lacrosse. The Sophomores (9 and 10-year-olds) cheerleading team won first place in the Florida Elite Cheer Competition Sophomores Medium Division. This was the Spartans’ first cheer competition season.

Academics are just as important to the South County Spartans Athletic Program as athletics are. As a part of their honor roll program, kids can earn a free hour of bowling and an arcade card from the Alley at SouthShore if they make their school’s honor roll. Every quarter, the program recognizes athletes who make the honor roll, and they are working on finding more sponsors to provide gifts as incentives for the kids. They have also added an academic advisor to the program to make sure the kids do well academically.

The program is currently holding fundraisers to raise money for tournaments and new equipment as well as scholarships and financial aid to players. According to Coach Christian Beiter, they gave out around $5,000 in scholarship funds this season. They are going to host a movie night on Thursday, February 21 to help raise funds.

The South County Spartans Athletic Program age groups for football and cheer are: Flag, ages 4, 5 and 6; Freshman (tackle) ages 7 and 8; Sophomores (tackle) ages 9 and 10; Juniors (tackle) ages 11 and 12; and Seniors (tackle) ages 13 and 14.

The age for the season is based on the age the child will be on July 31. Registration for football is $75 for flag and $200 for tackle. Cheer is $100 for the flag level, $200 for all tackle levels. They are now accepting $50 deposits to hold spots for teams. They have payment plans, multiple athlete discounts and scholarship opportunities for those in need.

“We want to continue to make our program more competitive so that our kids can learn about hard work, discipline and perseverance and how it pays off to put in the work,” said Beiter. “We’re just looking to improve off of our first season, which was a success.”

For more information on registration for events, or if you would like to help sponsor the program or donate, you can visit their Facebook page called South County Spartans Athletic Program. Please reach out via Facebook if you are interested in coaching or helping start a new sport.

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Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.