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atmosphere on and off the field is the epitome of what semi professional football
March 26, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
When the semi professional Delta Valley football team took the field last week, there were no fireworks, cameras or huge crowds chanting its name.
But that moment meant that the Falcons were minutes away from playing football, and for the roughly 65 players on the team, that s all that mattered.
“We are just grown https://www.falconsatljersey.com/andy-levitre-jersey-c-62.html kids coming out here playing football,” said Chris Brunson, a part time player and one of five owners of the newly formed Delta Valley Falcons of the 13 team Pacific Coast Football League PCFL . “I just love the game – love the sport. It’s a passion of mine.”
The team comprises men from age 18 to almost 60, most of whom are former high school or college players clinging to hopes of playing at a higher level or hanging onto a long lost love that appeared to fade away years ago.
Delta Valley’s roster features players from all over the Bay Area, including Antioch, Oakland https://www.falconsatljersey.com/kevin-graf-jersey-c-61.html, Fairfield, Vallejo, Modesto and San Francisco.
Between now and June, the team is scheduled to play 10 weekly regular season games against teams throughout California.
The contests, split into four 15 minute quarters, don’t look far off from professional presentations – but that s where similarities to the NFL end.
Participants volunteer to play, rush from work to make practice and pay for their uniforms and the team’s field costs. Most also play multiple positions. While team members say the sacrifices are real, they note the payoff – the chance to play football – is worth it.
Brunson Chris Odom Jersey, former owner of a Vallejo semi pro squad, said one of his younger players earned a scholarship to the University of Missouri and another earned a shot with a Montana indoor squad.
For most players, however, their chance at reaching at a higher level has passed them by. But their drive to play is undiminished.
“The love of the sport drives me,” said player William Green. “The fact is, even though I am going through so many things outside of football, when I come to football, I forget it all. I love the sport, love coming out here, loving working with the guys I work with.”
Away from the field, the team functions like a family, said Tecoyia Harrell, a team owner.
Practices are more like friendly gatherings, with teammates cracking jokes and kids huddled around the squad performing warm ups and doing drills.
During a recent practice, Deavon McDowell Williams, whose father, DeAngelo Mathis, plays on the team, could be seen attempting to lift a tire used by the squad to build up strength.
“I want to play football,” McDowell Williams said. “I want to play running back.”
The family like atmosphere on and off the field is the epitome of what semi professional football is all about https://www.falconsatljersey.com/sean-harlow-jersey-c-60.html, Harrell said.
PCFL players are welcomed into a unique brotherhood that keeps in touch year round and converges each season for a chance on the gridiron. Some players join squads just to practice, while others count down the days in between games.
“ The players all have that same passion for football, but also that same passion for being a family and helping one another,” Harrell said of the Falcons. “That is what brings them together. When one player is injured, they all reach out, when one player has a family member that is ill we all send cards and messages. We are really like a family, and that is what it is all about.”
Once the squad hits the field, the family like unit ramps up its competitive spirit.
The gridiron warriors battle for 60 minutes. Most players are driven by the love to play or are seeking to prove a point.
“When I come out here to play the game, I want my kids a son who is 7, a girl who is 2 to see that you can still do it regardless of how old you are,” said wide receiver Nicolas Breland. “Even though I didn’t make it to the NFL or make it to a big college, there are still ways for me to pursue my dream.”
So far this season, the team is 0 0 1, settling for a 12 12 tie with the Elk Grove Kingz on March 17.
The team is slated to return to action on March 24 at the Capital City Fury.
Tickets for the team’s home games, played at Heritage High School, are 10 for adults. Kids 10 and under are free.
The team is also seeking ways to volunteer in the community. For more information on the team or to request volunteer help, email Mathis84 gmail.com with “DVF or community opportunity” in the subject line.