Steamboat Springs Kevin Lorimer, the commissioner of the Doak Walker Football League, can't believe how popular his programs have become in the last three years.
"I've only got eight places left and there are still three weeks to go until the registration deadline," Lorimer said. "It's amazing."
Lorimer started the youth football league, for elementary aged players, three years ago. The last two years, the undertaking has been endorsed by the Doak Walker Foundation and carried the former football great's name.
The league will be limited to 80 players this season twice the number that was allowed last season. While Lorimer said registration numbers are getting close to the cap, there are still limited positions available for the 2000 season.
There will be two sixth-grade teams that will play a six-game schedule of tackle football.
There will also be a couple of fifth-grade teams and two more fourth-grade teams that will play a four-game season of flag football.
The teams will start meeting on the first day of school. The first three or four weeks of the season, depending on age class, will be used for practice.
The entire season will last nine weeks for the older teams and eight for the younger groups.
The Steamboat team will face other teams from Hayden and Craig this season. Lorimer expects the league will grow to include teams in Rifle, Meeker and Oak Creek in 2001.
"We are hoping this thing will continue to grow and possibly be state wide someday," Lorimer said. "I think we are on track right now."
The league has been endorsed by Skeeter Werner-Walker the past several seasons and Lorimer said the the Doak Walker Foundation has already pledged long-term support for the program in the future.
This season, the sixth-graders will play the regular season and, for the first time, have a post-season schedule as well.
There will also be a "Buddy Day" where the young players attend a high school football practice to see what the older players go through.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org