GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The owners and administrators of the Gulf Coast Trojans say their mission is to provide an outlet to keep young men occupied and keep them away from trouble.
Rickey Toles will serve as the Trojans assistant coach. Toles says recent shootings resulting in young men dying... must stop.
Toles said, "I've been coaching for over 18 years and since June I've lost four kids including Turtle. If we can show them something different I really do feel like, it may not be the 100 percent answer, but I do feel like it will help.
He says the semi-pro team wants to have an out reach program for everyone in the community, beginning with the youngsters.
"So, we can go into their communities, help them with their homework, help them with structured play, teach
them how to play, no matter if it's kick ball or football. "stated Toles. "No matter what it is."
Trojans CEO Ace Peters says he hopes the local team in the Gulf States Football League will give former high school players who didn't receive a scholarship another opportunity to compete in Arena football or the Canadian League.
"The first tryout is going to be this Saturday at 11:00 a.m., 2150 Popps Ferry Road, right across from the Margaret Sherry Library at the soccer complex, "Peters said.
Gulf Coast Trojans President Tiajaa Houston says the team is also looking for young women to participate for the dance team and to become cheerleaders.
Houston said, "We're looking for a different outlet so we can make it a family thing. We want to help the young men, but also have to help the young girls as well because they're still here. They need an outlet as well."
The Trojans will kickoff the season in March and admission for all kids will be free.
There will be no charge for anyone coming out on Saturday to tryout for the team.