FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- This fall, members of the youth football teams here trade in their red and white uniforms for Army black and gold.

The change in colors came about due the team wanting to be more reflective of Fort Rucker and to cut down on some on-field confusion, according to Randy Tolison, Youth Sports director.

"A lot of teams in our league use red and white," Tolison said. "It got pretty confusing for the players sometimes, so this is going to serve multiple purposes."

Leroy Minus, Youth Sport assistant director, said the change in uniforms showed the program's progress.

"It's a great thing for us," he said. "It shows how far the program has come in the past few years."

The new uniforms for the 9-10 and 11-12 year olds are gold with black lettering and white trim and feature 'Fort Rucker' across the front. New black pants accompany the gold jerseys and a few new helmets have been added to the lineup as well.

"Safety is a top priority for us," Tolison said. "Some of the helmets and pads we have this year are new, but some have been used before. Our equipment is regularly inspected and checked for cracks or dents that might make it unfit for use."

Along with the change in colors, the teams are also searching for a new name. No decision has been made, but Tolison hopes it will be something that ties in with the Fort Rucker image.

"We've had several suggestions, but nothing has been decided yet," Tolison said. "We want the players to decide what the name will be. It's their team and they should be the ones to determine the name."

Some suggested names so far include Chinooks, Apaches and Kiowas.

"The names are obviously tied to the Army Aviation side, but that might not be what we ultimately go with," Tolison said. "We're still open to suggestions."

Tolison said there is no prize for the person whose suggestion is selected, but that shouldn't keep people from putting ideas forward.

Last year, the 11-12 year-olds made it to the playoffs, but didn't make it to the championship round, Tolison said. This year, both teams are determined to go much further.

"Both teams had good years last year," Tolison said. "The bar has been set pretty high and we've already got a lot of interest in this year's team."

There are 60 total slots between the two teams and 50 of those have already been filled, Tolison added.

For more information or to make a team name suggestion, call 255-9105.