Area youth football team ready for upcoming season

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Natchez Falcons youth football squads will have a fresh challenge ahead of them this season.

The Falcons are making the transition from TNT Youth Football to Premier Youth Sports. But Natchez Falcons Director Darryl Smith said he thinks his kids are more than up to the challenge.

“We have some talent,” Smith said. “It’s fun watching them grow up. But it’s all about them learning the game. You teach, and the winning will come along with what you’re teaching.”

The Natchez Falcons have served as a youth football outlet since 2008, when former Cathedral, Ole Miss and NFL star Von Hutchins initiated the new league.

“He’s pretty much the founder of the team,” Smith said. “He played with the Atlanta Falcons, and that’s how we got the name.”

The players are divided among three separate teams, ages 5 to 8, 9 to 10 and 11-12-year-old squads.

Additionally, Smith said each team has the potential to travel to Florida to compete in the Pop-Warner Championships come season’s end.

“We are playing for district and state titles,” Smith said. “Hopefully, if our record is good enough and we win state, we can go to the championships down in Orlando. That’s our goal. We’re trying to win state.”

The Falcons have progressed through the summer heat after getting started in June and are prepared to kick off the campaign Aug. 13 at home. Each team will play eight games, Smith said.

“We have a lot of kids that participate in (summer) baseball and basketball,” he said. “But as far as the ones that don’t participate in other sports, they’ve been out here.”

Smith, who has been associated with the league since its inaugural season, said the program has paved the way for multiple up-and-coming stars, including Troy University’s Sidney Davis and Mississippi College’s Sam Butler and Carlos Woods. We’ve been pretty good.”

Smith, a former college star at Jackson State, said its rewarding in being able to pass down his knowledge of football.

“I just want to give back to the community,” Smith said. “I want to teach the kids the game that I love and help these kids out.

“We’re out here to teach the fundamentals. Trying to get them to learn the game at a young age, so it won’t be so hard for them once they get to middle and high-school ball. We want the kids to have fun playing the game.”