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As the season looms, Tigers embrace a community-service opportunity

The University of Memphis football team is a couple of weeks away from fall football camp. Before the team takes on the rigors of practices and weeks ahead of the first game, came an opportunity to reach out and serve the community.

With youngsters from Youth Village as their guests, several players recently (July 17) hosted a mini football camp. They taught practice-and-skill drills to children ranging in age from two years old to teenagers.

The camp was sponsored by Ashley Home Furnishings. Near the end of the camp, Ashley representatives surprised the mini-camp participants with news of new beds. Each will receive a bed delivered to their home courtesy of the furniture store.

“What a great morning to be partnered with Ashley and Youth Villages,” said head coach Ryan Silverfield, noting the “opportunity to come out and give back to the community. Credit to our young men who wanted to volunteer their Saturday morning.”

“We receive just as much from this as the participants.  Our players understand what this is all about,” said Silverfield.  The football team uses the community service projects as a way to also better bond with one another.

Community service long has been a big part of the University of Memphis football program, with the aim being to help players become more well-rounded individuals. (Photo: Terry Davis/The New Tri-State Defender)

Jevonte Porter, assistant director for Community Relations for Youth Villages, said, “We are super excited about the partnership with the U of M and Ashley. This is the third time we have had the opportunity to provide the children in our care with beds.

“It is like Christmas in July. It is important to get a good night’s rest in order to be successful.” 

Coach Silverfield and a couple of the football program’s student-athletes will be available on July 28 for the American Athletic Conference football media day. Memphis is coming off a disappointing 6-6 season and looking to return to the top of the conference football standings.

Memphis will start fall practice on August 3. The season begins with an early test – a road trip to Starkville, Mississippi to play the Bulldogs of the SEC – on August 30. The kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

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