By VAN HOLLAND
If you had a dream of playing professional football, but were never given the chance out of high school or college, now is the time for you to become a professional.
Three citizens in the community came up with the idea to organize a semi-pro football team and came up with the team name, East Carolina Buccaneers.
Mike Jones and Marty Pittman are co-owners of the organization.
Pittman will also be the head coach and will have the role of calling the shots on defense. His son, Mike Pittman, will be the offensive coach.
They have hired Gia Williams to come aboard to be the sports information and personnel director.
The Buccaneers have a simple mission, "To provide a strong, community based program that provides a fun, affordable venue for fans to watch local athletes showcase their talents."
The Buccaneers got in contact with the Town of Tarboro to inquire about using a facility. The town agreed to let the Buccaneers use Indian Lake Sports Complex and play their home games on the soccer field, which will be turned into a football field as well.
Williams believes there is a lot of talent in Tarboro and surrounding areas in Edgecombe County. She said the Buccaneers wanted to give these players a chance to showcase their talents in front of scouts and hometown fans.
"There is lots of talent around here and there is nothing being done with the talent," WIlliams said. "We decided to give these guys an opportunity to come on board with us and get them out there and let them show how good they are. We will have scouts observing these guy's talents and maybe one of them will get seen and possibly picked up and given a chance at a higher level."
The Buccaneers currently have 25 players on their active roster and are looking to add at least 10 to 15 more players. Players who are interested in playing or trying out fore the Buccaneers need to be at least 18-years old. They have to pay a $25 registration fee and their two jerseys will cost them $45.
Williams wants to get enough responses from the community and from the players and others so the Buccaneer players can get paid to perform on Saturdays.
"I am doing this out of the kindness of my heart," Williams said. "I don't care if I don't make anything from this. My thing is, I want to get these guys to get off the street and get them doing what they love to do. Hopefully we can get some of these guys to the next level. If I can do that then my job is done."
Being the first year, the Buccaneers haven't set the bar high, but they do want to win.
"We want these guys to come out here and play the game they love, but also we want them to be mentors to some of these younger players who are coming up through school now," Williams said.
Williams hasn't been with the organization long and doesn't know who a lot of the players are, but said she has seen some talent out there on the practice field.
They practice on Wednesday and Saturdays at Sunset Park until the season starts.
The Buccaneers will have five home games. Their first home game will take place July 27 against the Catabwa Hawks at 7:30 p.m. They will be playing in the Central Carolina Football League.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Buccaneers organization you can visit them on their facebook page, East Carolina Buccaneers or you can contact Gia WIlliams at (252) 469-8392 or email her at email@example.com.