The Crusader Newspaper Group

Southside football team qualifies for nationals, but can’t afford to go

“Jackson Park Wolfpack” qualifies for Nationals. Now they need our help before Dec. 7th!

By Joseph Phillips
Sports writer

The Southside Wolfpack Youth Football Team celebrated its 22nd season in style after a huge win over several opponents in the city to help qualify for the Nationals, but most recently their joy was overshadowed by financial concerns if the team can actually afford to go.

The team has been playing their games at the track and field at Jackson Park for several years, and was scheduled to be relocated back in 2018 due to the building of the Obama Presidential Center last year.

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Coach Earnest Radcliffe with two members of the Jackson Park Wolfpack. (Photo credit: Earnest Radcliffe)

According to the Wolfpack organization, both the organization’s youth football and cheerleader teams are currently in need of $15 thousand dollars to be able to attend the national competition in Florida.

“It’s a desperate situation,” said Earnest Radcliffe, director of the South Side Wolfpack. “We just found out we need deposit money for hotels by the 28th (of November).”

Radcliffe explained that the youth football players have spent months learning, playing hard and working toward their goals all season.

And in spite of the team raising a few thousand dollars as of last week, much more is needed to support the two dozen players and coaching staff.

“We just need help,” said Tonya Coleman, parent and Wolfpack cheerleading coach. “Our football program [is] in a high crime area, and no money here.”

The Wolfpack football team have managed to overcome the odds and finished undefeated in conference play, won their Regular Season Championship, Conference Championship, State Championship and Midwest Regional Championship to qualify for the Nationals.

With those huge successes, the team fears they will not raise enough funds to travel to Nationals in Florida in December.

In addition to the football team’s success, the group’s youth cheer-leading team also hopes to raise enough money to attend their national championship in December. But with time running out, the group hopes to raise funds in a hurry.

For more information or if anyone is interested in helping the Jackson Park Wolfpack organization go to the nationals, contact coach Earnest Radcliffe at 773-567-4727.

The Wolfpack is a community football team and cheer squad that recently qualified for the National Championships in Florida taking place in the week of December 7th. The team is made up of 12 year olds residing from the Woodlawn area and surrounding neighborhoods, most from low income backgrounds.


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