Tallahassee’s Ninth Annual Tackle Football Jamboree

Courtesy of LaRhonda Celestin

The youth tackle football program with the City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department (PRNA) hosted their ninth annual preseason Tackle Football Jamboree at James Messer Sports Complex on Saturday.

Program supervisor, Brain Smatt, expressed his hopes for the children and his excitement for the number of people at Saturday’s jamboree. 

“It’s a fun event to kick off the season. Anywhere between 1500 and 2000 people were here today. I hope the kids have fun and learn the game of football,” Smatt said. “With the support of parents, coaches and officials, we look forward to providing another great season for the players.”

This season marks the 59th anniversary of the youth tackle football program in Tallahassee.

“I like it, it’s entertaining, and it’s a good condition,” said Braxton Morea, No. 21 for the Meridian Park Cougars.

With the "mini-game" consisting of one 20-minute period and the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick Competition, Morea enjoys being out there on the field.

Although the Meridian Park Cougars did not win their game, Morea still saw the bright side of things.

“It’s a fun game, we have some stuff to work on but otherwise we did good,” said Morea.

Event staff, Kristen Ford, also sees how pleased the youth are with football and knows that everything is done with the youth and for the youth.

“The interaction that you give these kids is what makes them excited to come back,” said Ford. “It gives them the motivation to do better.”

Just like Morea, Ford appreciates this event too.

“Just to see the smiles that are on their faces, and to see them having fun and making friends gets more exciting and lights up my heart,” Ford said.

According to Smatt, it’s more to the game than just throwing and running a ball.

“It’s about staying away from gangs, drugs, and treating women with respect,” he said. “Also it’s all about teaching these young men about the game of life and the game of football.”

For more information about this and the other youth sports offered by the City, please visit Talgov.com/Parks.