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   ARCHER – The City of Archer took its first public step forward last Friday in reviving its youth recreation program for the first time in several years.
   The City hosted its version of “Friday Night Lights” with a sports camp geared toward children of all ages and spearheaded by City Manager Zeriah Folston.
   “It was for all kids to just come out and have a good time so that we can get a scale of what we have to work with in Archer,” said Savonte Hunt, a heavily involved volunteer and Archer native who also helps run the Gainesville GTM Black Stallions youth football and cheerleading organization.
   Hunt said it’s been a handful of years since Archer attempted to run its own recreation program, but he is excited about the passion Folston – who was hired as Archer’s City Manager in February – is bringing to the endeavor.
“He actually got out there [Friday] and helped coach some basketball and wasn’t worried about how many kids showed up,” Hunt said about Folston.
The immediate goal the City has in mind is participating in youth flag football beginning in September for ages 6 through 10.  The hope after that is that interest is piqued enough among residents to then pursue basketball and baseball.
   “The goal is to create something for the kids and parents to do, to bring some excitement back into our city,” Hunt said.  “By doing this, we are then able to create a better relationship with the people in town and influence kids through sports and other educational means to excel in life.”
The City’s long-term goals also aren’t necessarily limited to youth.
   “We would really like to do something for adults as well,” Hunt said.  “Archer and our surrounding cities are big on adult softball and basketball leagues, and we would love to do something like that to represent our hometown.”
For now, Hunt said the primary focus is on spreading the word to Archer residents that people are active and invested in coordinating a recreation program.
   “Our main concern is getting [residents] to know and be just as excited as we are to get things back in order,” he said.  “For any city to grow, you have to invest in the youth, and Archer is doing just that.”
   For more information on the Archer youth recreation program and upcoming events, please contact Archer City Hall at 352-495-2880.


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