‘Pick up the cleats and get out of the streets’ event aimed at ending violence

Pick up the cleats, get out of the streets

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Western Hills High School Football field was buzzing with activity on Labor Day. While many people enjoyed a day off, the Ohio Premier Youth Football League was hard at work hosting an event to end the violence.

“A few of the members of the organization who have nieces and uncles have been killed in the streets and the organization got together and said we want to do something for the community,” President and Coach Tony said. “So, we came up with the slogan: Pick up the cleats and get out of the streets.”

The event included events for boys, girls, parents and coaches to participate in and the goal was to build a stronger and safer community.

“Everybody had one motive and that motive was to give back to the community. I think a couple of organizations within the league has been affected by the gun violence in the community,” Cheer Coordinator Shena Stenson said. “Once the kids see the adults, they match our energy. If we have positive energy and we’re together as one then it makes it so much easier for them to be together and to join as one as well.”

Parents at the event tell FOX19 NOW the need for this type of community building event hit home after a 14-year-old boy was killed earlier this year. The teen was an alumni of the Ohio Premier Youth Football League. Coach Tony tells FOX19 NOW the list of those hurt or killed by gun violence has gotten too long.

“Truthfully, we just came up with this when we had the last shooting that came up about a week ago. We just put this all together this last week," Coach Tony said.

Event organizers hope to make this an annual event after having more than 100 people attend the Monday afternoon gathering on such short notice.

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