In Texas, football is king. Whether it's at the pro level with the Cowboys and Titans, the collegiate level with Texas and Texas A&M, the high school level with perennial powerhouse like Allen, Katy and Austin Lake Travis Texans eat drink and sleep football. But it doesn't stop there. In fact the most avid fans may be the parents of all the youth football teams that dot the State of Texas. This leads me into this segment of "Organizational Spotlight".
Although youth football has now become a year round sport, the primary tradition season is still August to December. During this time literally thousands of youth teams compete to be the best in different leagues around the State. In the last 3 years one of the most dominant organizations has been the Houston Panthers, or "Tha Pack" as they're infamously known.
They have been a powerhouse in one of Texas' toughest leagues, the Texas Youth Football Association (TYFA). Led by Coach Columbo Hackett, the Pack had a very intimidating and successful season in 2017, completing their 3rd year in TYFA. From flag to 11u, all 5 teams within the organization went to the playoffs and whats more impressive 3 of the 5 made it all the way to the TYFA State Championship!
The Pack rookies and juniors won the State Championship. This now totals 5 titles in their 3 years of competing in TYFA. The Panthers have the top 9u team in the country, and an 11u junior team that have been nicknamed "50-0 boys" in reference to the blowout whoopins' they habitually put on lesser opponents!
It's more than just football with this organization though and the leadership shown by the coaches and parents has done a great job in not just creating winning football players, but well rounded young men. The organization does a yearly school supply drive for those in need, and the Pack also had a hand in relief when Hurricane Harvey devastated their home city. They even extended their love and efforts to Flint Michigan when clean water was a scarce resource.
Coach Columbo was gracious enough to take the time to talk with me about his boy's minutes before taking a well deserved vacation. When I asked him what the biggest key to their success had been, his answer was simple: "We're family. Its a family oriented organization. We handle our business on the field, and we're family before, during and after."
The D1 Nation commends the staff, players and parents of the North Houston Panthers on their success and for their dedication to creating a better future for the youth of Houston.