YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Youngstown has a brand new youth football team called the Youngstown Little Bears. The team just started pre-season training two weeks ago. Organizers are trying to find a long-term solution to Youngstown’s violence problem.
It’s the inaugural season for the Youngstown Little Bears– an all-new football team for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade that’s completely free.
“It was a $50 fee. We waived the fee so the parents can bring them out here. We know that times are hard,” said coach and organizer Randy Triplett.
Triplett started Youngstown Little Bears two weeks ago with just eight players.
“Mostly the kids at first were my son’s friends and then we picked up and started getting more kids and more kids,” said Triplett.
Now more than 50 kids show up to practice daily.
“All I really want is the kids to get here. If you bring your kids here just trust me with your kids and I promise I’m going to make them good, I’m going to make them better. They’re going to stay out of the streets. They’re going to be better athletes and better men,” said Triplett.
Triplett said his goal is to have kids from all over the city participate and become friends.
“I know you already from when we were kids so I have a sense of understanding of you already, I won’t be so quick to act in a violent manner if I already know who you are,” said Triplett.
Players are excited about the start of the season.. and tell me they’ve been making new pals.
“I think it’s cool because we’re going to be playing like a whole bunch of other good teams,” said player Randy Triplett Jr.
If you want to play for the Youngstown Little Bears, it’s completely free. Practice is at East High School Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. All you have to do is show up and the coaches will sign your child up on the spot. They will begin regular practice in July and have regular games this fall.