The Santa Clarita Valley has long been known for it's elite youth, high school, and community college football programs. But the valley has never had a consistently competitive developmental team. But a group of local residents are looking to change that.
The Santa Clarita Skyhawks are a first year semi-pro team located in the heart of the SCV. The team was created to allow Santa Clarita residents a chance to continue and advance their football careers. But the team will also play for a greater cause.
Skyhawks founder and Head Coach Jamil Antoine wanted to make an impact in the community, and recently the team has adopted the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children's Cancer. Every time the team takes the field, Antoine's club will be striving to raise money for and bring awareness to the foundation. The team's first game will be on Saturday, December 19th at 1:30pm at Canyon High School. The Skyhawks will take on the Long Beach All Americans, another developmental team that travels the state playing in charity games.
The Skyhawks have already surrounded themselves with local football talent both on the field and in the front office. Antoine is a former Hart High School defensive back, and was a Junior Olympian in Track and Field. A former College of the Canyons student, he now co-owns a beverage company located in the SCV. Also on the coaching staff is Micah Martin, a former CIF Champion at Westlake High School.
When asked about the teams expectations, Antoine stated "Volunteerism and community outreach are a huge part of our organization. We demand that the players that make up the Skyhawks organization recognize their position as role models within our community. In addition to playing football, our players will volunteer and assist with charitable community events and activities that our organization will participate in and support."
The Skyhawks held their first tryout on Saturday, November 21st at Central Park, and more than 35 players attended. Several former Foothill League stars attended, including former Hart wide receiver Nate Almond, former Canyon lineman Cody Piercy, and former Golden Valley receiver Brian Sarpong. Other's included former Hart and Santa Monica City College linebacker Marvin Wheeler, as well as Sean MacNeil and Randy Rodi, both All-Stars in the United Football Alliance League last season.
The Skyhawks are currently in the process of obtaining their 501c3 tax-exempt status. For details on the team visit their MySpace account at www.myspace.com/skyhawkteam . For information on the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, please visit www.mhf.org