CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - A legendary Bengals player is stepping in to help a local youth football team struggling for participants and money.
Max Montoya played for Cincinnati for 11 seasons from 1979 through 1989, was a four-time pro-bowler and played in two Super Bowl championships with the Bengals.
Thirty years after his departure from the Bengals, he’s spending some time with local kids from the the Western Hills AA Warriors, a youth football league based out of the west side of Cincinnati.
“It’s not easy. Anything great in life is hard," Montoya told the boys in the league. "Hard work and you guys got to remember that. It’s dedication.”
Representatives from the league say it gives a lot of kids from the inner-city who say they don’t have father figures a clear path forward.
“It’s really important to me because it gives my kids something to do and get their energy out, keeps them from getting into trouble and fighting with other kids," said Ann Parker, who works with the Western Double-A Warriors. “They love it. It teaches them teamwork.”
Brandon Brumfield, president of the Western Hills AA Warriors, said Montoya gave the kids a lesson in more than just football.
“It’s always important that the kids hear from somebody who’s been ... he played on every level so he knows what it’s like," Brumfield said. “He knows what it takes to get there.”
Brumfield said he has around 60 kids on the roster but needs about 40 more to create enough teams for them to compete.