Categorized | Sports

New professional football league starting in August, Memphis Blues Dawgs targets area talent

By Thomas Sellers Jr.The Canadian Game Football logo

 The Monster of the Games players from left Dustin Raines, Xavier Hawkins and Mike Shaw attend the introduction press conference in Memphis last week.

The Monster of the Games players from left Dustin Raines, Xavier Hawkins and Mike Shaw attend the introduction press conference in Memphis last week.

Director of League Team Development Rickey Jemison chats with one of the young coaches in the league Marcus Thomas.

Director of League Team Development Rickey Jemison chats with one of the young coaches in the league Marcus Thomas.

The Monsters Game logo

MEMPHIS — Professional football will be just down the road for residents of Millington.
Calling Charles Greenhill Stadium off Highway 51 in Memphis home, the Memphis Blues Dawgs of The Monsters Game Football League will kick off in August. The newly formed professional football league will serve as a farm system mainly for the Canadian Football League. Also the league will give a chance for area talent to showcase and develop new skills.
“It’s time that we talk about to the public who we are and why we’re here,” said Rickey Jemison, Director of League Team Development. “We call it the Monsters Game. We call it that because that’s the way we identify ourselves from others Arena Football leagues and other Canadian Football leagues. The Monsters Game is a tough game.”
The introduction press conference was held July 9 at Larry’s Pizza in Memphis with some of the league’s players and coaches.
Although the new league primarily serves for leagues in Canada, league officials hope some players will gain attention for United States leagues like the Arena Football leagues and even the NFL.
The Monsters Game Free Agents is build as a fast action-high performance type of game offensively/defensively. The Monsters Game is played on special teams. The players are Free Agents because there is no hold back in our contracts which prohibits a guy from signing with another higher level pro football league.  All of our teams play football in the CGFL- Canadian Game Football League.
Attending the press conference at Larry’s Pizza were players defensive end Dustin Raines, running back Xavier Hawkins and defensive back Mike Shaw.
The trio of players discussed their playing background with Raines prepping at Ridgeway and Marshall Academy in Mississippi.
Hawkins played high school ball at Manassas and Germantown. Shaw might be a familiar name to Millington playing four years with rival Craigmont in the mid 2000s.
Both Hawkins and Shaw went onto college football at Northeast Mississippi and Ole Miss respectively.
All the players said they’re happy to have a platform to showcase their skills and develop in areas for a chance at the Arena Football League, Canadian Football League and even NFL.
In 2014, there are three teams in the Mid-South area, Arkansas Stallions of Little Rock, Mississippi KoolKats of the Desoto County and Memphis Blues Dawgs.  Teams in these areas have been established due to a great football interest of former college football player availability.
The season will kick off Aug. 17, in Memphis, at the stadium named former University of Memphis athlete Charles Greenhill. Greenhill was the football player who died during a University of Memphis private airplane trip with  former Head Football Coach, Rex Dockery in 1983.
The stadium was home to the Frayser Rams and other Memphis area high schools for several years until a recent flood shut the venue down.
“We’re teaming with them to revitalize football on that property,” Jemison said. “That field was shutdown about 5 years ago due to a flood. A lot of the high schools didn’t want to go back over there, especially playing at night because of mosquitos and things of that nature.”
The Monsters Game is scheduled to debut Aug. 17 at 4 p.m. in Frayser. Although North Shelby County will be the place to see the Blues Dawgs, Jemison noted the name reflects the entire city and the players’ mind set when taking the field.
“We want to identify with the city of Memphis. Memphis is known for music and Blues and Beale Street,” he said. “We want the team to reflect the city.”
The league’s management and staff has been working for the past several months laying the foundation for the league.
“It will be a combination of players from Memphis, Mississippi and even Arkansas across the bridge like West Memphis,” Jemison said. “We’ll add talent from Millington, Germantown, Bartlett and more.
“We’ve been working on this thing for actually a little bit more than 8 months,” he concluded. “For 6 months we’ve actually been out there practicing every Sunday at Olive Branch High School. So we’re ready.”
For more information about the league and interested players wanting to tryout, visit www.themonstersgame.com/

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