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Local youth play on NFL field
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Each Saturday, local children head to Bobby Ray Field in hopes of playing like the pros they see each Sunday. Perhaps they’ll break a long run like Chris Johnson or throw a touchdown pass like Matt Hasselbeck.
Last Sunday though, one local team not only got to try to emulate their favorite Tennessee Titan players, they got to share the field with them.
The junior pro Vols, which just completed their season in the Southern Middle Tennessee Youth Football league, traveled to Nashville Sunday to play an exhibition game against the Manchester Chiefs at LP Field.
The Chiefs had won a competition put on by the Titans that allowed them to play one game at LP Field and choose their competition.
The junior pro champion Chiefs selected the Vols from Warren County, the same team they defeated in the tournament semifinals a week before.
The Vols, who finished the regular season 2-4 and won a game in the playoffs, were eager to get another shot at the Chiefs and watch the Titans play the Indianapolis Colts.
The Vols took 19 kids and seven cheerleaders to the game, along with parents. In total, over 130 people made the trip to LP Field to take in two football games.
Coach Duane Boyd thought the experience was great, even if some of the players were a little down and out that the Titans lost in overtime to the Colts.
“It was a great opportunity for a bunch of nine- and 10-year-old kids to say they’ve played on LP field,” said Boyd. “They were a little disappointed with the loss, but during overtime we were back in the locker room getting ready to play.”
Coach Boyd thought the game, which only lasted 20 minutes and score wasn’t kept, went well for his squad once the early jitters wore off. The hardest part was trying to stop the team from watching themselves on the jumbotron.
“The kids got a little distracted watching themselves on the jumbotron,” said Boyd. “Once we settled down, we kept the ball on the ground and moved it down the field.”
After the game, the Vols returned home, where dreams of playing like the pros will undoubtedly continue to fill their heads. They won’t have to wait to play where the pros play though. They’ve already done that.