Portal will be the home turf of the Tri County Panthers this summer, a semi-professional football team based out of Sylvania and comprised of men from Bulloch, Screven and Jenkins County.
The Panthers host the Hinesville Hurricanes on Saturday at 7 p.m. in TC’s home opener — one of five home games at PHS this summer. The squad will play nine more times this summer after tying the Middle Georgia Pitbulls last week in Cochran, 6-6.
“If you love football and you want to see a great game — you need to come watch us,” said John Clark, a lineman for the team. “We’re an up and coming teams so if fans wanna see a great game they need to come on out and support us.”
The club started out last year based in Sylvania and had planned on playing home games in Screven or Jenkins County. But coach Steve Singleton and his players contacted Portal principal Jimmy Parrish and the Bulloch County Board of Education and secured PHS as the Panthers’ new home.
The 24-25 men on the club — aged 19-42 — practice twice a week at different locations around the area. Games are played in full pads in the southern heat with some players going both ways.
“It’s a full-pad league — this is as real as it gets,” said Clark.
Portal and Hinesville are part of the 17-team Southeastern American Football League. The Panthers are in the 9-team South Division.
“I love it,” he said. “Brings back a lot of memories — it feels kinda like high school except you don’t have to go to school to play.”
For more information on the Panthers, visit their Web site at www.leaguelineup.com/tricounty panthers or call (912) 978-9015.
Admission is $5 and $3 for kis 10-and-under.
Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.