By Bob Zoellner
Many baby boomers have fond memories of backyard football games and pickup basketball games. Gen Xers and millennials began to experience more organized sporting activities in their childhoods, and now those of the Generation Z matrix get the refinement of all that previous experience.
With so many traveling teams, leagues and affiliations available to provide the desired competition, it’s tough to stand out in the crowded field of youth sports.
One such couple, though, is doing just that. Kenneth and Nora Greenwell of N Zone Sports Southshore are carving out a niche by offering organized, noncontact flag football, soccer and cheerleading for those ages 5-15, as well as junior programs for 3 and 4-year-olds. During the summer, indoor basketball and soccer are available for those 5-12 years old.
The goal is to not only help kids athletically, but also mentally.
“At N Zone Sports, we focus on building sportsmanship and teamwork in a supportive, safe and fun environment so that kids can play the sports they love,” Nora said. “Our programs allow children to strengthen sports fundamentals and develop their skills while also building character and confidence that will help them in future athletic endeavors and throughout their lives.”
“We focus on the best elements of sports programs while eliminating many typical drawbacks. This means that there are no tryouts, everyone gets to play and our sports are noncontact,” Nora added.
The Greenwells, who purchased the business in May 2019, run one of approximately 50 franchises nationwide. Kenneth is the field and sports director, while Nora runs administration and operations. They use an extensive network of volunteers as coaches and assistants to make things work, hosting around 300 participants in an average season, Nora said.
As customers with N Zone Sports Southshore since 2010, with all three of their sons playing flag football, Kenneth and Nora were well acquainted with how things worked. That made it easy to transition into running their own leagues, which use the field at 11525 Big Bend Rd. in Riverview (at South Shore United Methodist Church) for their games.
“N Zone Sports Southshore was the very first N Zone league in its history,” Nora said. “The first season was hosted in April of 2008 by N Zone Sports of America President and Founder Tony Westbrock. Many local SouthShore children grew up in N Zone Sports and have gone on to play competitively in high school, national leagues and in college. Some have even come back to coach and officiate.”
Registration is going on now for the spring season, which begins on Saturday, April 3. Find N Zone Sports Southshore at https://nzonesports.com/southshore/events, or call 677-6826.