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Sports

Local semi-pro football team ranked in top 10 nationally

6/27/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — In their inaugural season, the Ohio Legends couldn’t be much more successful on the field. Through June 21, the Green-based football team had a 7-0 overall record and a 4-0 mark in the Heartland Football League. In addition, the Legends are ranked in the top 10 nationally.

“We have outscored other teams nationally by over 100 points on the season,” said Tom Jackson, the team’s head coach and majority owner. “We’re ranked in the top 10 in the nation out of approximately 1,200 teams, so we’re pretty happy with what we’ve done. But, of course, we will be looking to improve on that, as well, because there is a big difference between happy with where you are vs. satisfied where you are. You must never be satisfied. Now, we just have to keep improving, since everybody now has their sights set on beating us.”

According to the coach, the Legends have six regular season games left.

“We have to win three after that to win our conference,” he said. “After that, we will be competing for a national title —which could be as many as five more games.”

On the whole, Jackson said, the local community has been “incredibly receptive” to the team.

“We are very grateful for that,” he stated. “Part of it is because we’re putting a good product on the field that is family-friendly, as well as the fact that we are heavy in the community supporting Relay For Life events and other things that are charitable and worthy of our time. We are always willing to do speaking engagements, help in local community activities and help raise funds for charitable or nonprofit organizations.”

One area where Jackson said he would like to see things pick up a bit, however, is in the stands at home games.

“To be honest, attendance has been lighter than expected,” he said. “Having said that, we do have a good following, and we’re new, so we expected it would take time to build. We have some different promotional agencies, as well as our own marketing methodologies, that we will continue to grow and implement new things therein. Most of our lessons this year have come via operational experiences and figuring out how to do business in different and better ways.”

The Legends play their home games at Green High School’s Memorial Stadium, and the next opportunity for the local community to see the team in person will be June 29.

“The game starts at 6 p.m., and our opponent will be the Oil Region Rampage [from the Pittsburgh area],” Jackson said.

Tickets for Ohio Legends home games are $10 each, and admission is free for those 14 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the Green YMCA, 3800 Massillon Road, or at Legends Sports Pub and Grille, 1840 Town Park Blvd. in Green.

For a team schedule and more information, go to www.ohiolegendsfootball.com.

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