Marcus Dent is very excited about the Columbus Ravens football tryouts this Saturday. As the only free entirely free team of the Powerhouse Youth Football League, which has 12 total teams in Northeast Mississippi, his team presents an opportunity for kids to be able to play ball without their parents having to worry about the cost of uniforms and equipment.
The Ravens, like the rest of the teams in the Powerhouse Youth Football League, have a shared goal of getting kids involved in sports, paired with a commitment to academic excellence.
“Our goal is to help kids get to play competition football,” said Dent, president of the Ravens and PYFL board member.
The PYFL acts as mentors to their players, and has a grade-based play system, where players are benched if they don’t have their academics up to par. Dent says the coaches want to really influence the children’s lives and teach them how to succeed.
“These kids are with us five months of the year. Eventually the influence stops the bad activity. We have one kid that wasn’t doing that well in school. We worked with him,” said Dent.
The Powerhouse teams’ season goes from Aug. 18 – Nov. 10. Many of the teams are already full to capacity, but some, like the Ravens are still accepting players.
Powerhouse teams will be traveling to Birmingham soon for a Southwestern Media Conference Athletic Day. Dent says it will be a free camp for kids where they will be able to meet pro athletes and learn what is necessary to go pro themselves.
Powerhouse follows the American Youth Football Rules and Guidelines. They work closely with the area school districts and are planning to expand into other sports when possible.
Powerhouse teams include: the Starkville Cowboys, Columbus Ravens, Aliceville Yellow Jackets,Louisville Chiefs, Ackerman Steelers, Noxubee Co. Broncos, Starkville Raiders, Grenada Chargers, Louisville Chiefs, Eurpora Patriots, West Point Packers, Starkville Saints, and the Kousisko Cardinals. South teams include: Vicksburg Packers, Vicksburg Gold, Hinds Co. Seminoles, Madison Co. Presidential Hill Patriots, Mid-South Packers, Fayette Co Bobcats, Claiborne Co. Bandits, Tensas Stars, and the Hinds Co. Eagles.
Columbus Ravens tryouts are this Saturday (May 5) at 9 a.m. at Columbus High School. Parents can call 662-352-3224 with questions, visit www.powerhouseyouthfootball.com or search for Columbus Ravens or Powerhouse on Facebook.
The PYFL will be participating in the Southeast Youth Football Conference on Nov. 10 in Jackson at Newell Field. There will be 24 teams participating.