Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.
On Thursday, Nov. 16, the Boyz to Kings Lions 10 and under football team celebrated their season with a banquet at the Pinetta Community Center. It was an opportunity to allow these young men to have a moment in the spotlight and to pay tribute to their successful season. The Lions ended their season with an impressive 10-1 record. The team grew out of the efforts begun by Merv Mattair, founder of the Boyz to Kings organization. “Boyz to Kings started in 2010 and last year we decided to start a travel football team in order to expand and continue to empower youth,” said Mattair.
Mattair uses the sport of football as a vehicle for teaching valuable lessons beyond the grid-iron. Mattair said the focus is on the student-athlete, so academics and behavior is paramount. The coaches maintain a close partnership with the schools and teachers. “If a kid is not performing as they should in school, they do not play in the games,” said Mattair. This attention to behavior and detail was evident, even as the youngsters received their awards. As they came forward to shake his hand, Mattair insisted they look him in the eye and give a firm hand-shake. Once learned, these lessons will serve these youngsters well for many years to come.
Mattair said his plan is to expand the football program to a 13 and under team next year. He also plans to add a track program that would also include female athletes.
A special thanks goes to the sponsors for their support of youth football. Royal Sponsors are: Rod and Jada Williams, Reggie Daniels, Rick Davis, Michelle Pride, Kevin Turner, Toppies Hair Salon, Bobby and Tarnisha Thompkins, Curtis and Lynn Mattair, Choya and Keyania Wise and Rosetta of Rosi’s Hair Store of Perry. The Royal Plus Sponsors are: Alston Kelley, Octavious Tooks and the Revelation Church family, Mrs. Cooks of Cooks and Cooper Funeral Home and Doug and Lynne Brown.
More information about the Boyz to Kings program can be found at www.kingsqueens.org.