A typical high school football roster lists 70 names or more. The Sojourner Truth Jaguars are a bit understaffed at just 23 players.
Most of the team members have to play on both offense and defense, resting for only a few moments of a 48-minute game. The boys practice on a small playground, not even close to a regulation sized field.
But for the Jaguars, who are four games through their inaugural football season at the New Orleans charter school, this season is still one to be proud of. Only A Game‘s Keith O’Brien reports from Louisiana.
Sojourner Truth Academy, which students refer to simply as “The Truth,” is one of many charter schools that opened in 2008 after Hurricane Katrina. The student body is 97% African-American, many of whom come from violent neighborhoods or single-parent homes. The school aims at preparing its students for college while instilling the values of the former slave, abolitionist and activist for whom it is named.
As the football program heads into its fifth game with a 1-3 record and only 24 points scored to their opponents’ 106, winning is not the most important goal. All head coach Perry McCarty wants to see is that the kids are playing hard.
“We’re always striving to get better at whatever we’re doing,” McCarty says. “Whether it’s in the classroom, whether it’s on the field or whatever it may be, we’re going to get better.”