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Come support local student-athletes

High school football may be finished, but there is still a chance to come out and support the best of our local student athletes at the Miss-Lou National Football Foundation Chapter’s annual banquet Feb. 28 at the Eola Hotel.

The National Football Foundation was established in 1947 and has more than 120 local chapters across the United States. The mission of the Foundation is to “promote and develop the power of amateur football in developing the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal and drive for the academic excellence in America’s young people.”

Our local chapter was established in 1981 by many of the local football legends including Joe Fortunato, Allen Brown, Tony Byrne and Bob Dearing, to name a few. At first the foundation awarded each recipient a certificate of accomplishment, but through the hard work and dedication of the founders and the support of this community we are now able to give away $10,000 in scholarships every year. All of the money is raised by the support of this community through our annual Joe Fortunato golf tournament, which will be in May. This is truly a community event where all the money is raised and given within the community.

This year we have the honor and privilege of recognizing the best and brightest high school student-athletes from around the Miss-Lou and will be awarding $10,000 in scholarships to these deserving recipients. We will also be recognizing the best of the local junior high, and we will be making two presentations to locals that have influenced the lives of thousands of children through their dedication to amateur sports via our distinguished American award and the contribution to amateur football award.

To help us recognize these leaders in both the classroom and gridiron is none other than Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze.

Coach Freeze took over the reins at Ole Miss and turned a struggling program into a bowl game victory. He is a man of integrity, discipline and strong Christian morale and is a role model to all student-athletes regardless of the sport.

We would like to thank everyone that has played a role in supporting this great event and give special thanks to our local amateur athletes that have proven themselves both on and off the field.


Key Smith is a member of the National Football Foundation.