Reliving the football dream
One last time.
That’s what many athletes wish for: One last time to lace up the cleats, spikes or Air Jordans. One last time on the field. One more carry, one more three-pointer, or one more at-bat.
That’s what they wish for; and sometimes their wish is granted.
It’s been more than 17 years since a football game has been played on the old St. Stephen High School field. The old high school, which opened its doors in 1960 and closed in 1995, stands abandoned and forgotten. The gridiron is home to the occasional park and recreation football game these days as the cheers of a handful of parents have replaced the thunderous roar of the Rams’ faithful.
The stray dandelion now marks the yard markers. The goal posts stand silent sentinel still. Rust betrays their neglect.
But not anymore.
Come May the Rams will rise once more, only this time in the guise of the newly formed Berkeley County Rams, a minor league football team for men looking for one last shot at breaking the long one.
Comprised of former area high school and college players, the Rams began training camp this week in preparation for their season opener in May.
“We still need players and would welcome any local football player interested in playing,” said Rams assistant coach Terry Jackson.
The minimum age requirement to play is 18 years of age.
“Former high school players, college players, anyone interested in playing, are welcome to come out,” said Jackson, who will serve as the Rams’ special teams coordinator.
The Rams are coached by Larry Young, a Florida prep football product who played collegiately at Auburn. The team’s offensive coordinator is Brian Jackson who has coached youth league football in the Holly Hill area.
“There is a lot of football talent from the Lowcountry,” Jackson said. “There might be former high school and college players from around Berkeley County who may not know who we are that would like to give football one more shot.”
The BC Rams play in the Gridiron Developmental Football League, which consists of 60 teams from around the country. The Rams will line up against a 10-team division featuring regional competition such as the Palmetto Havoc, the Lowcountry Assassins, the Lowcountry Bone Crushers, the Carolina Hornets, the Carolina Venom, and teams from Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, North Charleston, Beaufort and possibly Columbia, according to Jackson.
In addition to players the Rams need coaches, a chain crew, hydration staff, an equipment manager and sponsors.
The Rams season begins May 4. The squad will play a 10-game schedule of five home and five away games at 7 p.m. on Saturdays.
For more information visit the Rams’ Facebook page or www.gdfl.net.