Former MSU Texas alumnus using sports to help build community

Pee Wee football in Wichita Falls
The Wichita Falls Panthers United football team practicing for the season. / Source: KAUZ
The Wichita Falls Panthers United football team practicing for the season. / Source: KAUZ

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls Panthers United organization was started by MSU Texas alumni Omarion Bradford.

Coach O wanted to give kids in the Texoma area a chance to compete and give them an opportunity outside of sports

"We wanted to give an opportunity to the kids in the community to be able to play sports at a competitive nature,"  Wichita Falls Panthers United President  Omarion Bradford said.

"Also we wanted to make sure that we instilled in the young men and young ladies that's its more than just sports. This program is not really geared towards sports its geared towards making them feel like they can be better young men and better young ladies in the community. So our goal is [for] every young man and every young lady that comes through this program that they understand the importance of academics and the importance of giving back to the community."

Coach O Panthers united because he wanted to build something different in the community that the local kids could be proud to be a part of.

"I wanted the kids to be able to have something that they are proud of to be in Wichita Falls," Bradford said. "Because there are a lot of things to be proud of to say that I'm from Wichita Falls."

One of the unique things about the Panthers is they offer a competitive flag football team and that's something that you can't find at many places in Wichita Falls.

"There [are not really many programs outside of football or anything for four-year-olds in Wichita Falls," Bradford said. "So we want these kids to have a opportunity to start now so that they can learn the game of football and start instead of just starting at tackle. As everybody knows now a days there are parents that are nervous about football starting them in tackle. But I think the one thing that can help this is by starting them now early and learning the fundamentals in flag football."

Coach O is more than just a coach on the field. His vision is to send kids to college and help build up, not just the Panthers players, but the whole city of Wichita Falls. 

"I'm not going to be satisfied unless I put kids in college," Bradford said. "And I'm not necessarily just trying to put them in college for sports. But I want everybody to have an opportunity to understand their value, to understand the importance in life that they can be whatever they want to be. that's the one thing that we strive for. I want every child to understand that they have a purpose and that they have a destiny. so our goal is to be able to work with the school systems to work with local community organizations this is not just about the Wichita Falls Panthers this is about the Wichita Falls community as a whole."

The Panthers will be hosting a fundraiser Saturday, August 11, at Applebee's and you can eat pancakes with the Panthers from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. If you would like more information on how to sign your kid up you can head to the Panthers Facebook page.

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