MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- On the football field, you won’t hear sirens or see crime tape, because the Memphis bears football team is dodging crime and gaining trophies in the process.
“I was one of those kids that stayed in trouble, found negative outlets sports found its way to me and gave me another outlook on opportunity,” said Memphis Bears Founder Craig Littles who grew up in Frayser a part of town that’s no stranger to crime. He hopes to help change that.
“When I was in Desert Storm, I am an army veteran I told God if he gave me an opportunity to get out of this situation I’d go back home and make a difference,” recalls Littles.
Now, 20 years later he’s celebrating a victory.
The undefeated 10 and under football team won the national championship in Florida.
“To see their faces, get off the bus, see the Atlantic ocean to see them at Disney World it just does something to us a program,” said Littles.
Nike sponsored the team’s trip.
“A lot of them have never been out of Memphis,” added Littles.
While 2 decades of kids have come through the program Littles says there’s still a lifetime of molding young me to go.
“I would have been in a lot of trouble if I didn’t play football. I liked playing even though it didn’t realize what it was,” said Branson Littles who started playing for the Bears when he was 5. It’s only now as a member of the Marine Corp that he completely understands the difference the sport made for him.
He says he’s happy to see the legacy of victory marching on through young Bears.
On the field and out the streets is the message he wants to continue for decades to come.