Kelly High School catches football fever - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Kelly High School catches football fever

BENTON, MO (KFVS) -

Kelly High School hasn't fielded a football team since 1957.

But that's all about to change.  The school is starting a junior varsity team next year, with varsity games slated to start in 2014.

"Everyone is talking about football," said Kelly 8th grader Skylar Lemons. "We're ready to go."

"The kids I've spoken to about it seem to be really excited," said head coach Kenneth Riedinger. "It's something we haven't had for a long time around here. The kids and community support have been amazing."

The community support system is led by the Kelly Youth Activity Association.

The booster club has raised all the funds for the new football field with the help of donated labor and supplies.

"Our community is ready for football. That's something we were hearing," said booster Kristi Kirkpatrick.

"I think some people are still amazed that this is happening," said booster Jami Walker. "But it's great to see the construction going on to show the kids that we really are going to make this happen for them."

But starting a program isn't easy.

Raising money and getting interest from students is just part of the equation.

"Putting the sprinkler system on the field to putting a crown on the field, building bleachers and locker rooms. The enormity of the project is our biggest challenge," said Riedinger.

But Riedinger says the big project is running smoothly, and they will be ready to kick off at home next September.

And the future stars for the Hawks expect instant success.

"We'll win the first game," said 8th grader Aaron Graham.

Along with the football program, Kelly will also start a girls soccer team.

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