TWENTYNINE PALMS — The roster is building for the 29ers, the Morongo Basin’s new semi-pro football team.
Owner Shaka Gray reported a good turnout for tryouts held Saturday, June 1, at Luckie Park and is hoping for more talent to show up for tryouts from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Luckie Park.
Gray is hoping the squad will be ready for its first home game Saturday, Aug. 10.
“Tryouts went really well,” Gray said.
“There was some really good talent out there. I was really impressed with the outcome, because we have a great group of guys who understand the team mission. We help the community first and football second. The goal is to make an impact wherever we go.”
The next step is to start practice for players who signed their team contracts.
“We still need to boost up our roster and get more numbers,” Gray said. “Because I know there’s some really great talent out there that’s waiting on their chance to play but just don’t know about the 29ers semi-pro football yet.”
The team’s ultimate goal, he said, is to offer a football program to high school graduates and Copper Mountain College students who want the chance to showcase their skills.
“We want to create a scouting pool here in the Hi-Desert area,” Gray said. “We believe it would influence our youth to drive harder for their future because sports has a very positive influence on individuals’ lives.”
The team is looking for community support through sponsorships and donations.
“The 29ers is not just a football team, this is a organization that is looking to give back and bring influence wherever we go,” Gray said.
He still needs offensive and defensive linemen, a kicker and a punter.
“We are still recruiting for all positions because we still need to plug in some reserve players,” he added.
“We are looking to fill up a 52-man roster. So that means we have a little work to do.”
For more information, contact Gray at (760) 905-9970.