Keeping Kids Safe From Violence By Keeping Them On The Field
Young football players hit the grid iron Thursday night, while learning valuable lessons.Photo: Video by kmtv.com
Omaha, NE -- Young football players hit the grid iron Thursday night, while learning valuable lessons. It's all in an effort to keep the kids off the streets, by keeping them on the field. Two north Omaha youth football teams, the Omaha Chiefs and Lil Vikes, battled not only each other but, violence.
The youth football championship game was about more than just winning on the field, it's coaching the young boys how to deal with the violence that surrounds them living in north Omaha. Omaha Chiefs' head coach Nick Push said, "We need to become 51% for these boys because if we become 49% we'll lose some to the streets."
Jerry Luedetke is one of the coaches for the Lil Vikes team. He said keeping kids away from the violence on the streets is his main goal. One of the ways the team does that he explained, "We practice 3 nights a week, and we have football on Saturday. That's 4 days that they're with us, and they're not out trying to join a gang or gang members."
Shai Mitchell said playing with Omaha Chiefs, "It helps me stay out of trouble and it helps me do good in school."
Keeping the young boys engaged in the game is the best way coaches believe to keep them away from scenes marked with crime scene tape.
We went back as far as we could on Crimemapping.com, tracking homicides in north Omaha. Omaha Police report 14 murders on the website since April 21st.
Omaha Chiefs Quarterback Ian McDermott said, "I think it's better to kinda get away from the kids that are really not doing what they really supposed to do so."
Even though the teams were rivals Thursday night, they all have similar goals.
10-year old Hunter Push admitted the game keeps him focused. "I think it disciplines me a lot and it helps me stay on task at school," said the Omaha Chiefs player.
Lil Vikes' Jaden Smith stated, "It helps me by getting a degree and graduating from college."
His teammate Tyler Curtis said, "It helps me stay off the street cause I want to grow-up and do college and play NFL football."
Many kids can't afford the football gear they need to play in these north Omaha leagues.
You can help the team by making a monetary donations or by donating football gear. The Lil Vikes can be reached at: http://www.eteamz.com/lilvikesfootball/
And the Omaha Chiefs http://www.omahachiefs.org/
Reported By: Liz Dorland, email@example.com