McALESTER — Savanna is a town of less than 700 people, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. McAlester is a city of more than 18,000.
So why is it, National Oilwell Varco sales representative Josh Ohls asked himself, that Savanna has a youth football program but McAlester doesn’t?
After two years coaching in Savanna, Ohls has taken his talents to the big city, and the McAlester Buffaloes Youth Football League will start July 28.
“I’ve thought McAlester had needed this for a long time,” Ohls said Wednesday.
“I’m just a football guy. I live and breathe it.”
Ohls said the league has been the brainchild of both himself and McAlester head football coach Bryan Pratt. Pratt and other McAlester coaches and varsity players will run a Little Buffs football camp for players entering third through sixth grade Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Hook Eales Stadium,
“Some of our kids know fundamentals and some of them don’t,” Ohls said. “We’re going to coach from the actual McAlester playbook, offensive and defensive”
The youth football camp will not only teach players the necessary skills, but it’ll also give them the opportunity to get fitted for equipment by Midwest Sporting Goods, the Tulsa-based company which has agreed to partially sponsor the team.
The first practice following camp will take place July 28, then the team will play a nine-game season in the Indian Nations Football Conference. The conference is primarily based in the Tulsa area, playing a 10-week season with a bye Labor Day Weekend and a postseason whose November championship will be televised.
“We’re by far the farthest removed team towards the south,” Ohls said.
“For what we’re trying to do with the kids, we couldn’t find a better organization to get involved with.”