Carolina Chargers seeking high-caliber football players

  • Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mario Ford pulls in a pass during a Chargers’ practice Saturday. ROGER LEE/JOURNAL SCENE

A developmental football program has taken root in Summerville.
The Carolina Chargers held tryouts last month and the team is now holding practice twice a week at the Jerry Blackwell Sports Complex at Gahagan Park. Team officials are planning to join the Gridiron Developmental Football League and anticipate opening their first season with the league in May.
Team owner Lisa Drake says the Chargers are seeking additional players and searching for a place in Summerville where they can hold games on Saturday evenings in the Spring.
“We are looking for both seasoned players and guys just getting out of high school who either just love the game or possibly want a second chance of being noticed,” Drake said. “We will video tape all our games so if any coach becomes interested in one of our players we will be able to send them video.”
One of the team’s goals is to help high-caliber players, who did not receive a college scholarship, get noticed by college scouts and to help players who are no longer eligible for college athletics catch the eye of professional scouts.
But athletes don’t have to have college or pro aspirations to join the team.
“We welcome anyone who has the talent to play at this level as long as they will take it serious,” Drake said. “The coach expects everyone to show up for practice and work hard. We are planning some community service activities and we will expect our players to embrace that as well.”
Practices are conducted in shorts and a team T-shirt for now, but the players will put on pads in October. Drake says the practices are open to both athletes and fans who might have an interest in the team.
Larry Young, a former NFL athlete, has been brought on as the Chargers’ head coach. The team currently has around 25 athletes from across the South Carolina Lowcountry. Some of the players have prior experience with GDFL teams such as the Spartans and Bone Crushers.
Drake, as well as some of the players, was part of the Berkeley Rams organization that recently disbanded.
“When things fell through for that team it left guys who wanted to play disappointed so I offered to start a new team,” Drake said. “We have a lot of talent and it has been a lot of fun. Everyone is jazzed up about playing and the guys are really coming together as a family.”
The Chargers are a non-profit organization and its players do not get paid. Practices will be held every Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. and on Tuesday evenings at Gahagan Park until the Sertoma Youth Football League opens its season.
For more information on the Chargers, contact Drake at 412-3144 or lmpdrake@gmail.com.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or rlee@journalscene.com

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