SAVANNAH, GA. (August 20, 2014): Savannah’s title-holding Police Athletic League’s (PAL) youth football team is accepting applications for the 2014-2015 season.

Sponsored and coached by Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department with the assistance of community volunteers, the Savannah PALS seek to increase its current roster of 50 youth football players and cheerleaders to 110 before the season opening in September. Eligible participants are boys and girls ages 5-12. Football players must provide a $60 uniform fee. There is a $30 fee for cheerleaders.

In 2013, the Savannah PALS won the Battle of the Badges against its rivals, the Jacksonville PALS. In addition to developing sportsmanship, the coaching SCMPD officers provide youth participants with homework assistance, mentorship, school visits and academic progress checks. In partnership with the SCMPD Juvenile Officers, coaches also give behavioral skills development when necessary.

“PALS lets us use football to reach the youth,” said PALS coach, Sgt. Andre Jackson. “We’re not just playing a sport. We’re talking to the kids, getting to know them and showing them that police are here to help them and support their individual growth. We want to help these kids become a positive force in the community.”

The Savannah PALS began in the early 1970s under the direction of Lucius “Bow” Levette of the former Savannah Police Department. It became inactive in the late 1980s upon Levette’s retirement. In 2004, a team of SCMPD officers including former PAL members, reactivated the league. It is currently under the leadership of Capt. DeVonn Adams.

Registration forms can be obtained Monday through Thursday from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the PALS practice field at Cloverdale Park.