Duval Sports

Middle School Awareness: A Media Day For Middle School Football

Jacksonville, FL-  The atmosphere was ripe with anticipation as the players and coaches filled the gym at Christ’s Church Academy for the inaugural Middle School Football Media Day, presented by Duval Sports . Many did not know exactly what to expect from the first ever Middle School Media Day. But as the teams filed in dawning their school colors, and the gymnasium filled up with eager parents and fans, it was clear that anticipation would turn into adoration for the athletes, their coaches and dedicated volunteers who came together to make the event a tremendous success.

 

Yet the question still was asked, “why the need for a middle school media day?”

A few years ago a middle school media day would’ve seemed quite absurd, but not in 2017.  Just this year most of the entire football world was amazed when the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State and the University of Alabama offered a scholarship to 14 year old Jaheim Oatis, a rising 8th grader. It sent shock waves throughout the public to think that a middle school student could actually receive an offer to a major college. Yet as bizarre as this sounds, it wasn’t the only time a middle school football player was offered by a college. FAU Head Coach Lane Kiffin recently offered a scholarship to Pierce Clarkson, a quarterback that just finished sixth grade. Clarkson’s offer comes less than a month after the reports surfaced that Kiffin extended an offer to Kaden Martin, a seventh-grade quarterback. Shortly after that, the University of Hawaii offered a football scholarship to 11-year old quarterback Titan Lacaden who was in 5th grade. If that’s not enough,  there’s Kiyaunta Goodwin, a massive 6-foot-6, 350-pound offensive tackle who Kentucky just offered a scholarship to. Yup you guessed it, he’s in the 7th grade. So the better question to pose would be “why not a middle school media day”? But not just a middle school media day, but a middle school awareness day, to inform and educate student athletes, parents and the coaches of different resources in the community to better serve this most impressionable age group. After all, Middle School students do experience accelerated physical development, while also displaying a wide range of individual intellectual advancement. So the idea was bought to life, and the rest as they say was history, as the first ever Middle School Awareness Day; A Media Day for Middle School Football was born.

Over 25 area middle schools attended the event, including the champions from three area counties ( Oakleaf, Mathew Gilbert, Swiss Point). Players walked away with gifts and prizes for coming and participating, along with information about player safety, health, wellness and more. Christ’s Church Head Coach Jim Stomps spoke to attendees about education, player safety, and collegiate readiness. Coaches from all over the area were able to meet for the first time, and teams that were in need of games on their schedule were able to secure them with other teams. It made for a great opportunity to network with other programs and learn more about the people behind the sport. The Florida Community Prevention Center were able to donate athletic shoes to needy families and build a new partnership with community effort to help homeless families. This event was truly a success across the board, bridging community through sport.

St. Johns County Middle School Schedule

Duval County Middle School Schedule

Clay County Middle School Schedule

NE Florida Middle School Schedule

Private School Middle School Schedule

In the coming days, DuvalSports.com will feature a special Middle School Football preview of every team that attended the Middle School Awareness Day. Each preview will include information about the team, interviews, photographs and more.

 

DuvalSports.com would like to thank Christ’s Church Academy, Riddell, Baker’s Sporting Goods, Guardian Helmet Covers, The Florida Community Prevention Center, Project 180, and The Jacksonville Jaguars Youth Football Program for being apart of this event.

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