Come try out
Hinesville’s new semi-pro football team, the Georgia Rattlers, will have tryouts from 4-6 p.m. every Saturday until Dec. 12, at Joseph Miller Park. The team, part of the National Independent Football League, will have a winter schedule with games starting in February and ending in May. For more information, call team owner and head coach Jade Richards at 432-4725.
Hinesville will soon have a new semi-pro football team, the Georgia Rattlers. Owners Jade and Jessica Richards have started tryouts and are finalizing helmets and uniform designs for the team, which plays from February to May.
Jade Richards briefly coached the defensive unit of the Hinesville Hurricanes
and said he is excited about forming a new team while welcoming a few of the Hurricanes players to his squad.
"I’m looking forward to a lot of players coming over from the Hurricanes," he said. "A lot of the guys feel comfortable about coming over to play for me, especially those on defense."
Since the Georgia Rattlers play during the Hurricanes’ off season, Richards said players will have a chance to stay in shape and continue playing football.
The coach said he will hold tryouts from 4-6 p.m. every Saturday at Joseph Miller Park in Midway until Dec. 12. While he has several players ready to go, he said he is still looking for the offensive skill positions such as a quarterback, wide receivers and backs.
"I feel pretty strongly that a lot of the defensive players I coached for the Hurricanes want to come over and play for me," he said. "So I need to solidify more offensive positions."
In addition to players, Richards said he is busy finalizing the coaching staff.
"As of right now, it does appear I will have some other coaches on the staff, not quite sure how many," he said. "But I think by the time our season gets started, I’ll have a pretty good coaching staff."
The newly formed team will be a member of the National Independent Football League’s NFC Conference and Richards said their first game is scheduled for Feb. 13, against the Waycross Firebirds.
"They won the championship game last year in the league," he said. "I’m looking forward to playing them. I’ve seen them play before and I find they run certain offensive sets that I’m very familiar with because we’ve run them or I’ve seen other teams run them … The first game, we will keep things pretty basic and as I get a feel for the players, we’ll gradually do different things like the wildcat, the spread, wing-T and the I-formation."
Richards said the team needs community support.
"We are always going to be looking for sponsors, but we were fortunate enough and were blessed to have some very good sponsors," he said. "Some are looking to even back us as we set up a scholarship for the guys who come to us to play and are still looking for a chance to go to college. We are really looking to get a lot of community support because I think this can be really beneficial to the guys coming out of high school or those who just came out of high school but didn’t get a chance to go to college due to financial situations. Being able to play and have college scouts see them might help them reach that next level."
The coach said the team is open to a wide age group.
"It would be a hindrance to their ability if I were to just base my roster on a specific age group," he said. "If they have the athletic ability to come out here and play they have a chance to make the team."
Richards said the team has permission to play home games at Olvey Field. The Courier will post the Rattlers’ complete schedule when it’s finalized.