MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — For the past couple of months, the city of Memphis has rallied around athletes whose seasons were lost to COVID-19.
“It’s a tough time for us, but we’re going to make the most of it,” said Oakhaven senior Gary Brown Jr.
That’s exactly what Raising the Bar Community Development has set out to do for students athletes like Brown. Michael Mosby founded the organization to create a better life for kids in his community.
After Shelby County Schools canceled fall sports, Raising the Bar stepped up in a new way with a 7-on-7 league.
“That was a very tough conversation that we had with them,” Mosby said. “That was a 45-minute conversation that turned into ‘man give me two weeks, I’m going to figure something out. Just give me two weeks, don’t stop coming. Keep showing up to the workouts, just go what you love. Give me two weeks.’ And two weeks later I came back and said hey we have a 7 on 7 football league. Man, one guy ran up to me and hug me like, ‘coach, this is what I’m talking about.’ So, the reaction has been amazing.”
“I’m a senior, so you can’t really — it’s an opportunity taken away from us,” said Brown. “But, with this, it’s a great time for us to get looked at — playing something that we want to do.”
The league consists of 6 teams, divided into north and south divisions.
Mosby, the head football coach at Oakhaven, said the teams are led by other Shelby County coaches. And, it wasn’t hard getting them to join in.
“It was kind of like an easy thing because it’s football and we all do football,” said Mosby. “Even for us coaches, it makes us feel good, like we can still compete in some sense and man just have an opportunity to do what everybody loves whether that’s coaching or playing.”
Something else he loves, the city of Memphis coming together to give hundreds of athletes a second chance.
“Just want to tell everybody that’s doing it to keep going,” Mosby said. “We’re not going to stop. I told the boys; we’re not going to stop. There are all kinds of efforts across the city that’s happening man.”
Friday night was week two of the league’s six week schedule.