Last year Joey Henley and Doug Kitchens were in the early stages of creating a local semi-pro football team to compete in the San Joaquin Valley Football League. They dubbed the squad The County Regulators and invited players from all around the Valley to try out.
Former gridiron prospects from the Valley grasped at the opportunity for a second chance to play the game, but with the beginning of the SJVFL drawing closer the Regulators found themselves short of the mandatory roster size to join the league. With that in mind, Henley and Kitchens decided to move their practice site from Modesto’s Sutter Park to Donnelly Park in Turlock in the hopes of attracting more talent.
The plan worked—if only for a while.
“We were having quite a bit of players turn out when we moved to Turlock,” Henley said. “Then Christmas break happened.”
In late November the Regulators had around 25 players at Donnelly practicing. Now they’re brimming at about 15. The pitfalls of the holidays—travel, feasts, and the such—are partly to blame, but the cost of equipment is also keeping potential players away.
Whatever the reason, the outcome remains the same. If the Regulators can’t complete a 30 man roster their inaugural season in the SJVFL will be over before it started.
“We’re looking for football players of all positions,” Henley said. “There are a lot of good players from Turlock and Delhi, and those types of areas, and we’re hoping we can get some of them to join the team.”
With the beginning of the season less than two months away, Henley and the rest of the Regulators are hoping all their hard work will not be in vain. Practice times are from 11 a.m. to 1p.m. every Saturday and all players who are interested are encouraged to come.
For more information, contact Joey Henley at 435-8157.