Happy Valley Youth Club, Gridiron Club host inaugural Football Season Kickoff Carnival

Published 3:23 pm Monday, August 2, 2021

BY NIC MILLER
STAR STAFF
nic.miller@elizabethton.com

As the 2021-22 school year quickly approaches for Carter County, so does one of its major fall sports: football. And while high school football is always a big deal in East Tennessee, youth club gridiron action for those not yet in high school is also a big attraction.

One youth club program, the Happy Valley Youth Club, started a new event this past weekend to help fundraise for their upcoming season known as the Football Season Kickoff Carnival at Happy Valley High School.

It was a fun-filled day for all those who attended, with carnival games, inflatables, and water games galore. But those were not all of the attractions, as there were a couple of competitions for attendees to take part in such as a punt, pass, and kick competition as well as a hot dog eating competition.

Happy Valley Youth Club president Justin Clifton spoke on last Saturday’s turnout, saying, “I was very pleased with the turnout we had on Saturday, especially for this being our inaugural event. In total, we raised $1,757.35 which will help tremendously in purchasing new equipment.

“Overall, it was a fun day. Even though we did not have the biggest turnout, it was great to be able to see these kids have fun and get to hang out with their friends.”

Clifton lives by a philosophy when it comes to events like this one or even in his everyday association with the Happy Valley Youth Club. “It’s about the kids, and it has always been about the kids and their success.”

Both the Hot Dog Eating competition as well as the Punt, Pass, and Kick competition seemed to be a huge highlight of the day, with first, second, and third-place finishes being awarded for each event.

In the hot dog eating competition, Cayden Rickus took home the gold for the 5-8 age group, while Maleik Clark finished in first place for ages 15-18.

An exciting first-ever Kickoff Carnival this past weekend, the sky is the limit for what Clifton and the Happy Valley Youth Club can do to make things even better for next year.