Local youth football team sets goal on championship

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 4, 2017

Darryl Smith has been coaching the Natchez Falcons for almost 10 years, teaching dozens of kids the fundamentals of football.

Despite watching the youngsters grow up and achieve their own set of goals, there is still one thing Smith wants to accomplish — winning a championship.

“We are working hard,” he said. “The kids have been running. We are getting there and getting started early. We don’t want to play catch up later on. We want to get it started right off the bat.”

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The Falcons compete in the Premier Youth Sports Association based out of Jackson, and field a team in three different ages groups from 6 up to 12. They are currently holding practices for the upcoming season at 5:30 p.m. every Monday through Thursday at the multipurpose fields in Natchez.

Smith said since its beginning in 2008, he has had two teams with second-place finishes and averages from 80-100 players each year.

“We are just trying to get kids out here right now,” he said. “As kids, they work hard. They still give everything they got, even when its 100 degrees. They understand and want to win.”

Smith said even though the Falcons haven’t claimed a title just yet, he has enjoyed watching multiple players over the years develop their game.

This year, Natchez High will host a large group of former Falcons players, including rising senior quarterback Chris Scott, Smith said.

“They went all the way up and were the first ones to make it to the championship,” Smith said. “I’m proud of them, and I keep up with all of them.”

Smith said the reason he continues to coach the Falcons is to see the success it can bring to local athletes.

“The hope is that the game will help them move on to the next level,” he said. “We enjoy teaching and giving back to the community. We want to have fun and learn the game.”

Those interested in signing up can contact Smith at 601-807-4420. Final registration is due by the end of July, and league play will begin in August.