Stingrays to host football tourney


Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 3:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 3:38 p.m.

The Team Fla Stingrays will sponsor its inaugural Breast Cancer Awareness Month Flag Football Tournament.

Facts

FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT

* What: Breast Cancer Awareness Month Flag Football Tournament for players 18 and older.

* When: 11 a.m. Oct. 27.

* Where: Fred Cone Park, 2841 E. University Ave.

* Miscellaneous: Early registration for teams is $75, and ends Sunday.

* Information: Call 352-682-1524 or 407-408-9861.

Melanice Copeland, general manager of the Stingrays, a team that plays in the Gridiron Developmental Football League, said the flag football tournament for players 18 and older will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 27 at Fred Cone Park at 2841 E. University Ave.

The team also will host a football clinic at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 25, also at Fred Cone Park, for teams that play in the J.P. Rattlers Education and Youth Sports Organization.

"We are just trying to give something back to the community, while also trying to raise money for the American Cancer Society and make more people aware about breast cancer," Copeland said. "We will be releasing pink balloons, and we are still looking for breast cancer survivors to come out so we can honor them during the tournament."

Copeland said the early registration fee for the tournament will be $75 and ends Sunday and the fee will be $100 after Sunday until the day of the tournament. She said teams will be competing for a $275 cash prize during the tournament, which will feature seven-on-seven games with rosters limited to nine players. The games will be called by referees.

Copeland said the clinic will be limited to the Rattlers this year because it is the heart of the youth football season and it is difficult to arrange a time to get more players to one location. She said the players from the Stingrays will visit the Rattlers practice to run the clinic, which will feature basic fundamental football drills, such as the shuttle run and pass catching and blocking drills.

The Stingrays are comprised of former high school and college players who are still interested in furthering their football careers. She said one of the players helping to run the camp will be former Eastside High School defensive end Caesar Wright Jr.

James Perry, founder and president of the Rattlers, said he is thankful the Stingrays will be spending time with his teams. "I appreciate them for what they are doing, and I think it is a great idea," Perry said.

Copeland said this year was the first year in existence for the Stingrays, who, she said, made the playoffs, but didn't participate because the team didn't have the funds to travel to Ohio and Pennsylvania.

She said the team played its home games at Webb Field in Ocala and is in the process of negotiating with the city of Gainesville to play its home games next year at Citizens Field. The season lasts from May to September and tryouts will begin in January.

This year, former University of Florida offensive lineman Maurice "Mo" Mitchell was the head coach and offensive coordinator and Gainesville resident Alphonzo Rawls was the defensive coordinator.

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