CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - On Sunday afternoon, half a dozen football players with the Western AA Warriors came together to play a quick game of football.
“I love to play with my teammates. We get to tackle and stuff. I get to be the quarterback,” said 8-year-old Julian Parker.
This wasn't a normal practice day, it was hot and they could've spent their time at the pool or anywhere else, but they're here because they want to be.
“It’s time they wouldn’t get together. It bonds them. It’s like a brotherhood,” said Brandon Brumfield, President of the Western AA Warriors.
Coach Brumfield said this team, this family unit, could be broken soon simply because kids aren’t coming out to play.
“For like the last three years... it’s little league football in the city alone... a lot of kids just missing. They need us and we need them,” said Brumfield.
Warrior coaches said they work with a lot of kids from the inner-city. Kids who they say don’t have father-figures, some ending up going down a different path.
This is why the people behind Western Hills AA said they can’t throw in the towel on their team.
“This is so important. We need kids. We need parents,” said Tiffinee Brumfield, cheer coach.
In the past month, Cincinnati has seen a sharp increase in shootings and homicides, including two 14-year-old boys killed in separate shootings.
One of those victims was Anthony Hinton, a former Warrior.
“He was a great kid, I love him to death. Just situations like that, it’s more the reason why i want to be here and be more involved,” said Coach Brumfield.
Brumfield said he’s seen a lot of kids change in this program, others he says haven’t. But that won’t stop him from the work he puts in every day with these boys.
“I feel like this is my calling, the reason i’m alive. That’s why i’m out here," he said.
The warriors first game is in August and they said they’re going try to make it work with the players who sign up.
If you want to help, or if your kid is interested in playing for the Warriors, reach out to Tiffinee Brumfield or Brandon Brumfield.
They told FOX19 NOW they’re OK with people reaching out directly to them.
Tiffinee Brumfield can be reached at 513-328-9274.
Brandon Brumfield can be reached at 512-375-7965.
There’s also a GoFundMe set up to help the team.