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Sports

Minor league football team calls Green home

3/7/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

The Ohio Legends football team will sport the same colors as Green High School teams, as shown on its logo.
Graphic courtesy of Ohio Legends
GREEN — Football fans will have a new local option when the Ohio Legends kick off their inaugural football season April 27 at 6:30 p.m. at home against the North East Ohio Silverbacks.

The minor league developmental football team’s home games will be played at InfoCision Field at Green High School Memorial Stadium.

The head coach of the Ohio Legends is Tom Jackson Sr., whose coaching experience encompasses pee wee ball through Texas high school football, the Air Force and semi-pro football.

Jackson said putting together the team has been a seven-month process so far.

“It will be about nine months by the time we kick off in our first regular season game,” he said. “Donnie Boyer, [proprietor of] Legends Sports Pub and Grille, [and I] are the driving force behind all efforts, and there are other key personnel that need to be rewarded and recognized, such as offensive coordinator Phil LaRocca, Jason Roberts and Mark Resanovich.”

According to Jackson, Green is the perfect location for the Ohio Legends, who will play in the Heartland Football League.

“We were pursued by other venues with big names and fancy amenities, but it is a matter of community, community, community,” he said. “If our primary mission is to reach young people and change lives, it makes sense to create an identity that will help do that by focusing on the community where we are headquartered. With Legends Sports Pub and Grille and InfoCision Field at Green Memorial Stadium being only about 800 yards from one another, it is a perfect fit. Furthermore, it is simply a great venue for football that is centrally located within the Greater Akron-Canton area and is close to a major interstate.”

Jackson said the team’s goals include more than just winning football games.

“On a macro level, this team is here to win championships and provide great entertainment to the football fans of the greater Akron-Canton area. But on the micro level, we are very focused on being an asset to our home-field community, Green High School and the citizens of our community as well as the Greater Akron-Canton area,” he said. “One thing that is made crystal clear to all of our player applicants is that we demand stellar character and a willingness to perform community service in the city of Green and their home communities. If you play or coach football and all you ever care about are wins and losses, you are missing an incredible opportunity to make a difference in a much bigger way.”

The team’s colors are a tribute to the team’s community, Jackson said.

“As just one of many symbols of our commitment to Green High School, we are wearing black and orange, just like Green High School,” he explained. “If you are going to say the community is important to you, then do all you can to live up to that statement. And from a market acceptance perspective, we have a nice line of clothing, and it is important that all we do blends with the pre-existing trends so people want to embrace it.”

Jackson said the team’s name also was selected to tie into the area.

“‘Playing like a Legend’ is an attitude and way of life,” he stated. “Furthermore, being a rock throw away from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, this is an area that is truly legendary when you think of football history. Contrary to popular belief, the name of the team and the name of our corporate sponsor, Legends Sports Pub and Grille, are not related. The team name was picked before the sponsorship became a factor. But the Ohio Legends Football Team had the chance to partner with Legends Sports Pub and Grille, and the synchronicity was way too much to ignore.”

The Ohio Legends will play a 13-game regular season. Tickets for home games are $10 each, with discounts available for bulk and season ticket packages. They can be purchased in person at Legends Sports Pub, located at 1840 Town Park Blvd., or online at www.ohiolegendsfootball.com.

“We also want to encourage any charitable organizations to contact us regarding free tickets, fundraising, team visits, speakers, etc.,” Jackson said. “Again, we want to help the worthy causes of Green, Ohio, and the Greater Akron-Canton area in any way we can.”

For additional details about the Ohio Legends, visit the website.

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