MINEVILLE - Semi-pro football is coming to Mineville this summer.
The Adirondack Rattlers, members of the New England Football League, will play at Linney Field.
"We'll have former high school players, a few guys who played in college and some who have never suited up before," said Tom Evens, Rattlers owner, general manager and coach. "It's going to be fun."
There will be a meeting for interested players Saturday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m. at Bonnie's Bistro in Port Henry. Prospective players are asked to call Evens at 942-8040 prior to the meeting.
"We need a minimum of 22 players, but I'd like to suit up 60," Evens said. "I've spoken to a lot of people and I expect about 40 players at our organizational meeting."
Evens said he has players coming from Schroon Lake, Crown Point, Ticonderoga, Port Henry, Essex, Elizabethtown and Whitehall.
"And I'm hoping we can get some players from the Addison, Vt., area," he said.
The NEFL is a 36-team league with four divisions. Mineville will play in NEFL II, which is a start-up league for new teams.
It's the league's first New York team and will face squads from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Practice is scheduled to begin the first week of July with six games slated. Games will be played on Saturday afternoon.
Players must be age 18 or older and pay $100 team dues, $120 for a helmet and $65 for shoulder pads.
While Evens hopes the Rattlers are competitive, it's not his primary goal.
"I want this to be as fun as possible," said Evens, who has played semi-pro football with the Glens Falls Green Jackets and Vermont Mud Dogs. "These players aren't professionals and I won't try to treat them like they are. Everybody will play; everybody will start at least one game."
Evens played high school football at Moriah Central School, graduating in 1998. He's quick to point, though, the Rattlers will welcome all players - even those from Moriah's archrival Ticonderoga.
"I'll be proud to have players from Ti," Evens chinned.
Evens and Erin Hall, the Rattlers' league representative and operations manager, hope home games become community events.
"We're a not-for-profit organization," Evens explained. "We're going to charge $7 a ticket to cover the costs of the field and officials. If we make any money, we'll donate it to a community group. If we're in the black, the last game may be free admission with a food donation for the local food pantry."