Baxter, Griffin help Brundidge peewee football get started

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Features Editor

Christmas is a time for thinking of those people who are special in one’s life.

Santa Claus came early to about 60 Brundidge youngsters this year and what he brought was an opportunity they hadn’t expected.

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Santa wasn’t wearing a red suit and he didn’t have a pack slung over his back. Rather, he was wearing a football helmet and sent his gift via the U.S. Postal Service.

What he gave the youngsters was the chance to play organized football – for the fun of it and

also to better prepare them to compete on a higher level if they choose.

The idea for a peewee football league in Brundidge belonged to Herbert Reynolds and Curtis Coleman. The resources to make it happed came from two Brundidge gridiron stars who now play in the National Football League, Fred Baxter and Cornelius Griffin.

"Curtis and I had been discussing the need for a peewee football league," Reynolds said. "We needed to give our youngsters something worthwhile to do – something that is a good learning experience and fun. In talking with Wayne Grant

(Pike County High School head football coach), we realized that we needed a feeder football program to support the high school program so it can grow at a faster rate."

Reynolds and Curtis talked with Brundidge City officials, who agreed a peewee football program would be beneficial. However, the program had not been included in the city’s budget for the year. So, Reynolds and Coleman began to look for financial resources. Their thoughts turned to two young men who began their football careers in Brundidge and at PCH.

They put a pencil to the project and decided it would take $10,000 to "outfit" three age-level teams.

"We contacted Fred and Cornelius and they graciously said, ‘yes,’ and gave us the money we needed to get the program started," Reynolds said.

With the help of other volunteers Reynolds and Coleman organized three peewee teams and joined the Dothan Conference which allowed them to play teams, including Eufaula, Dothan, Ashford and Troy.

"We played nine games and won a few," Reynolds said. "But, winning wasn’t the important thing. Getting the youngsters interested and involved, teaching them fundamentals and skills, improving their morale and impressing upon them the importance of academics were much more important."

Reynolds expressed appreciation, on behalf of the players, to Baxter and Griffin, the city of Brundidge, Coach Wayne Grant and those who volunteered to work with the program.