The players on the Santa Clarita Valley Tigers football team are very different from one another.
About half of them are from the SCV. Some of them are young, others are as old as 55 years old. Some joined the team because they had the itch to play football and get into playing shape and some are trying to stay out of trouble on the weekends.
The one commonality they all share is the desire to help the community. While the Tigers have been competing in the Labelle Developmental Football League for four years, they also are involved in many outreach programs.
“When we decided to form this team, we’ve always been behind causes,” said Jerrold Rhodes, a founding member of the Tigers and head of the board of directors. “Our slogan is SCV Tigers: it’s more than football, it’s a community.”
The team’s latest endeavor will involve LOV Movement and its mission to help the homeless in LA County. It will be collecting clothing and canned food items as admission for tonight’s game against the So Cal Apaches.
The players plan to personally deliver whatever is donated to the cause to the homeless.
“They help the really unfortunate people who really have nothing,” Rhodes said. “We are connected with them. The charity aspect, whatever clothing, food, we’re donating to LOV Movement and was going to take the team down there.”
The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Valencia High School and there will be another home game on March 18 with the site yet to be determined.
Many of the players on the team who hail from Santa Clarita have Foothill League playing experience. Rhodes said that Golden Valley, Hart and Saugus are all represented on the team and that two of the coaches have previously worked at Saugus and another one has coached at Canyon.
More than giving former prep football players the chance to continue playing, it also gives people who might be in a tough situation a chance to get away from everything, something Rhodes says is one of the most redeeming qualities of the team.
“Football itself is an out. Sports, in general, are an out,” Rhodes said. “Most of the guys on the team itself, some are less fortunate. Guys that don’t want to be in trouble, they’d rather do this on the weekend. Guys who are having trouble at home and just want to be away from it, they have it here as well.”
While the Tigers are strong as a team, Rhodes says they could still use a few volunteers to help out on game nights. Those interested in getting involved with the program can visit goscvtigers.com.