Mill Creek Youth Football unveils new digs

DACULA - Gwinnett's largest youth football league has a new home field, just in time for autumn football hoopla.

The Mill Creek Athletic Association will unveil the new digs at a grand opening for the football facility Saturday.

The facility - replete with a press box, visitor and home bleachers, a walking track and a fully stocked concession stand - is part of the brand new 109-acre Duncan Creek Park, a sports-friendly haven in Dacula that was 10 years in the making. The park is located on Braselton Highway, near Mill Creek High School and the Hamilton Mill community.

"We'll be one of the nicest facilities in the county," said Mike Estep, Mill Creek football director. "It's beautiful."

Mill Creek Youth Football is the county's largest league, with 752 players and 411 cheerleaders, ages 5 to 15. The league has flourished since its initiation five years ago with the high school's opening, Estep said.

Despite its popularity, league football games were relegated to a baseball field in nearby Bogan Park. Until now.

The grand opening kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday, beginning with scrimmage football games. Expect kid-friendly activities like a bungee wall and an extreme slide. The Gwinnett County Fire Department will raise an American flag at 1 p.m., lending the ceremony an air of patriotism.

County leaders bought the land for Duncan Creek Park in 1998. Residents caught a first glimpse of the park in June, when the county unveiled the park's beach volleyball courts and Gwinnett's most elaborate skate park. Future plans include a roller hockey rink and more picnic and tennis facilities.

District 3 Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said the park and facilities were funded mostly through the SPLOST program, the county's option sales tax.

SideBar: If You Go

What: Football facility grand opening at Duncan Creek Park

When: 11 a.m. Saturday

Where: 3700 Braselton Highway, Dacula

Cost: Free