NFT offers semi-pro alternative for Tallahassee

The North Florida Tigers is not your average football team.

On Nov. 10, the North Florida Tigers, a Tallahassee national prep football team entered their division playoffs, falling short of the win by five points. This first year program took on Alabama’s very own, Golf Coast Sharks, leaving the gridiron with the score of 10-5.

Although the 2017 football season is its first for the Tigers, coach and founder, Andrew Brown, makes it his responsibility to promise a bright future for his team.

“I was in semi-pro for a long time and football became more than just a sport to me,” said coach Brown.

Under the direction of Brown and other coaching staff, local college athletes train throughout the year in efforts to explore opportunities of Division 1 or Division 2 recruitment. The North Florida Tigers also serves as a mentoring program for young men who need guidance off the football field and a safe haven for some of the less fortunate players on the team.

“I learned about prep school and I automatically thought that it was my vehicle to help people accomplish their dreams, which have always been a passion of mine,” said Brown.

Keon Brown, starting quarterback of NFT said, “Being out here doing all they can, simply taking time out of their day to help us chase our dreams means a lot. It’ll put us in a better place.”

Because most of these students have unique backgrounds, their passion for football and service is a priority.  According to the Tigers coaching staff, they have seen extreme growth from the players, in their athleticism, attitude and mindsets’ about their life and situations.

“These are my brothers, they need me and I need them. We all depend on each other,” said, John Bryant, a defensive-end player.

Since the beginning of the season to the bitter sweet end of playoffs, Chelsea Leroy, a Macon Georgia native and FAMU and Tallahassee Jewels flag football team alumna, serves as the Mom of the team. Leroy is the Linebacker Coach of the North Florida Tigers and has been a key part to team success.

“I really wasn’t doing much for the team at first, but now I’m their nutrionist and I make sure they eat healthy not just before a game but during the season so that they can be able to perform through the year. My goal is that they take these habits to the next level in their careers.”

“They have the talent but no one to help them get their grades up. There is nothing more important than an education,” said Leroy.