Trent Young has been the athletic director at Ridgway Christian for only two weeks, but he has already undertaken maybe the biggest project during his foreseeable tenure there.

Trent Young has been the athletic director at Ridgway Christian for only two weeks, but he has already undertaken maybe the biggest project during his foreseeable tenure there.

After a two-hour meeting with parents last Monday night, half of that time was spent talking about the potential of starting a football team at Ridgway Christian. With 12 to 13 junior high players committed, the decision was made to start playing football this season at the school.

The team will play eight-man football in the Arkansas Association for Christian Schools, and Young said the first practice will be at 8 a.m. on Monday at Ridgway Christian.

“We are starting a football program,” he said. “We have enough for junior high and have some interest in senior high.”

Young said four to five players have signed up for the senior high team so far.

“There are several that are enrolled in the school that might want to play that weren’t at (Monday’s) meeting,” he said. “Just see where it goes. Hopefully have both a senior high and junior high team.”

Young takes over for George Lea, who stepped down to enroll in law school. Young was formerly the Athletic Director at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Tillar. He started the football program at CCA, which plays in the same conference as Ridgway.

Young said he first started coaching in the 1970s with Sheridan and later went on to coach Rison in the ‘80s. He “retired” in 2003 before working at CCA.

Young said he had to think and pray about the decision to become the AD at Ridgway.

“I felt comfortable and felt the Lord was leading me for a change,” he said. “It’s a growing school and a lot of kids there, so it offered a new challenge, and after praying about it, I accepted.”

While Young is new to the school and offers coaching experience, the idea of starting football did not start when he took the position at Ridgway.

“This is something they have been trying to do for the last couple of years,” he said. “It’s nothing new. The pastor is a big football fan and they have been talking about it.”

There is a lot to do and setup, though, before the Eagles’ first scheduled game on Sept. 14 against Southwest Christian, which is out of Little Rock.

The first week of practice for the Eagles will be strictly in shorts because Young wants to see how everything goes before handing out equipment, which the school is also lacking in.

“We will talk about the commitment it takes and see where it goes, and if everything goes well, we will build to the second level with pads and helmets,” he said.

Young would then have to get pads, helmets and other equipment if the first week goes well, and he has purchased some equipment.

“Just got the bare necessities and I haven’t purchased the big stuff,” Young said. “I will talk to some coaches in the area and see if they have any excess equipment that is in good shape. The kids will be outfitted well.”

The Eagles’ schedule is not finalized yet, and the team does not officially have a place to play. While Ridgway has enough room to practice, it does not have a football field.

Young said he plans to talk to schools in the Pine Bluff area about the possibility of playing a game or two at their stadiums.

“See if we can use their stadium when they are on the road,” he said. “If that doesn’t work out, we will have to play all of our games the road.”

While there are many details to be ironed out yet, Young is happy to be the one at the helm as Ridgway gets ready for its first year of football.

“I am excited to start the program here like I did at Cornerstone,” he said. “The excitement is here. There are a lot of good people and kids here that are looking forward to the challenge.”