Newell, Munro to contest inaugural NTFA Gridiron Championship

Newell, Munro to contest inaugural NTFA Gridiron Championship

Monday, January 27, 2020

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As a follow-up to the introduction of Flag Football in Jamaica, the National Tackle Football Association (NTFA) has rolled out American tackle football (Gridiron) for 10 schools in rural Jamaica.

With one of their main goals being the attainment of scholarships, the organisation has already secured scholarships for three athletes who competed in the NTFA Battles Sports Gridiron Flag Competition in the last school year. The College Athletic Preparation Programme [CAPP] Academy in New Jersey has been developing these athletes in preparation for college placement in the USA. Tyreek Bucknor (Munro), T-Jean Whyte and Orville Mattis (deCarteret) enjoyed scholarship offers to attend and play with the CAPP Academy programme and to train with one of the top athletic training systems, Ex3 in New Jersey.

Fifty coaches and officials attended the camp on November 2 for the first-ever gridiron full-contact camp. The camp serviced 230 athletes in a coaches/officials certification course. NTFA also focused on showcasing their mentorship programme, which strategically engaged the athletes on a number of leadership and character trait lessons throughout the day. The athletes were exposed to educational aspects of the camp, which was well received.

The NTFA presented 24 pairs of spikes, 30 pairs of gloves, and 20 gridiron sweatshirts to exceptional students who exhibited exceptional athletic talent and character, ultimately providing several athletes with a vital opportunity to nurture their natural, holistic talents.

“We're pleased with the overall outcome of this event and blessed to have an opportunity to introduce this new opportunity for our marginalised students. This was a successful precursor in preparation of the Gridiron Jamboree that took place on November 7 through 9 at Munro College, and St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), which kicked off the NTFA Gridiron League,” stated NTFA Director Jerome Harriott.

The league has 10 schools (400 athletes) competing throughout the fall including Munro College, B B Coke, Newell High, STETHS, deCarteret, Roger Clarke, Belair, May Day, New Forest, and Godfrey Stewart High schools vying for the first annual Gridiron National Championship.

The regular season ends on Wednesday and the NTFA Gridiron National Championship game is slated to be played on Saturday at UWI, Mona Bowl, in Kingston. The events will start at 8:00 am with three flag football games being played. Then the NTFA Gridiron Consultation Game will commence at 12:00 noon, pitting deCarteret College against May Day High School, and then the main event, The NTFA Gridiron National Championship game will commence at 3:00 pm with Newell High School playing Munro College for the inaugural title. The day's festivities will round out at 6:00 pm with the trophies and awards presentations.

The NTFA will be accepting applications from secondary schools for the Gridiron Flag Spring League that begins next month. The deadline for applications is February 15. The organisation is also currently offering coaching and officiating opportunities for individuals who are interested in the sport. These opportunities provide earning potential, which the current referee crews and coaches are finding beneficial to the athletes, communities and themselves. The NTFA conducts certification courses that are administered many times annually.

Team Jamaica (National Gridiron Programme) invitations will be issued by February 3 to Jamaican athletes who have been identified as having great potential and the IQ for gridiron. The selections will be made from local Jamaican athletes currently playing Gridiron and athletes overseas with extensive American football playing experience. Team Jamaica is slated to play their first international game on June 6, 2020 against an opponent yet to be announced.

Due to the international expansion of sports and more specifically American football, The National Tackle Football Association welcomes the opportunity to introduce its initiative to strategic partners. The objective is to forge an alliance of integrity that supports a systemic framework to diversify athletic programmes that focus on academics, mentorship and an alternate path to overseas scholarships in the United States.

“We're thrilled to be part of a select group of businesses who can participate in the early stages of the introduction of non-traditional sports in Jamaica,” noted Jordan Scarlett, of the Carolina Panthers in the National Football League.

The NTFA has partnered with a number of organisations that are resolute to the commitment of development for opportunities. Organisations such as Battle Sports, Jamaica America Football Association, Itelbpo, Pure National Ice, Gooser Sports, and Delightful Gardens have committed to the long-term development of the NTFA programmes.


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