SPORTS

NFL Leagues United seeks young players

Dey Juan Hemmings and Brandon Sullivan are recruiting young players for the upcoming NFL Leagues United Non-Contact Youth Football season. (photo by John Gregory)

NFL Leagues United seeks young players

Dey Juan Hemmings and Brandon Sullivan, two former football players, were recently staffing a booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market, recruiting young players for the NFL Leagues United non-contact football program.

“We’re a brand new non-contact youth football organization in San Diego,” Hemmings said, explaining that the league will play games at a variety of sites across San Diego on Saturdays.

The organization is run by former NFL and college football players. Sullivan was a football standout at Poway High School who played for San Diego State on a full scholarship. He played for the San Diego Chargers in 2011. Hemmings also played for SDSU on a football scholarship, starting as a true freshman. His final game in an Aztec uniform was in the New Orleans Bowl.

The two decided to come together to run NFL United in this part of the city.

“Our main goal is to bridge the gap between youth sports and high school sports,” Sullivan explained. “We’re actually developing these athletes and teaching them the game in its entirety as well as implementing academics into their skill set. That way we teach well-rounded student-athletes. It’s not just about sports, but about being that student-athlete and being a productive citizen in today’s society outside of sports.”

The program is accepting any boy or girl from the ages of 5 to 14. There are divisions for all age groups. Divisions are broken down by numbers of players on the field: 5 on 5, 6 on 6, 7 on 7 and 8-man. The fall schedule of 10 regular season games opens Sept. 1, but offseason training is now underway for participants, Hemmings said. The training program is for sports performance, not just for football.

“So, if a young athlete wants to get involved right now, we have training that goes straight into the season,” Hemmings said. “So, they’ll be active and then they’re not just waking up on the week of the game and saying, ‘Hey, what have we got going?’ They’re already in the mode of participating and being active.”

“We’re looking to just better their lifestyle through athletics,” Sullivan said.

Children who participate in the league each get flags and a jersey. There are photos and weekly statistics will be posted on the official website. A player of the game for each team will be selected by each opposing team following games.

A two-week post season will be held following the regular season. The league will hold five “Super Bowls,” all on the final day.  

Hemmings is the local site director and can be contacted by email at djhemmings@NFLLeaguesUnited.com. Visit nflleaguesunited.com.

The Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market is open for shoppers from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every single Saturday at 10380 Spring Canyon Road, in the Innovations Academy parking lot. Visit srfm.org.

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