New football league for kids, transforms community - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New football league for kids, transforms community

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) –The Memphis volunteer football coach, featured in the Oscar-winning film "Undefeated" is at it again. On Saturday, Coach Bill Courtney broke ground on the football field where he plans to coach his next football league and transform a community.

Soon, third and fourth graders from all over Memphis will be filling the football field in Binghampton. The field itself is called "The Hamp" and those working there Saturday say this is the place where Memphis will come together.

Throwing sod is the first step to throwing footballs on the soon to be field on Tillman in the heart of Binghampton.

Alvin Neal lives in Binghampton and says, "It'll give the kids somewhere to come and give the parents somewhere to come too."

Alvin Neal came here with his grandson. Both came to lend their hands to putting this field together.

"It's worth it, giving back to the community, giving back," said Neal.

The property itself used to be home to apartments where drugs were rampant. This new field will cultivate a much different atmosphere.

Wade West with Memphis Gridiron Ministries explains, "Our goal was to build a team made up of Binghampton kids playing in Binghampton, practicing in Binghampton and something the community will get around."

Bill Courtney, the coach who inspired the Oscar winning high school documentary "Undefeated " is planning to be one of the coaches on this new field.

Courtney says the hundreds of volunteers working to get the field ready will be the very ones to use it.

He hopes this new Crosscheck football league will literally bring Memphis together.

"You're gonna see black kids, white kids, suburban kids all working alongside each other, putting grass down on a field to play football on," Courtney said.

Throwing this sod is a labor of love for everyone here. Those volunteering their time hope their labor helps lay the foundation for success in Binghamton and beyond.

Binghampton resident, Jerome Coleman says, "I think it's gonna be enhanced the more people get involved and give back to the community. It's a great opportunity."

For more information or to find out how to volunteer or donate to the Memphis Gridiron Ministries, click here.

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