LITTLE HAITI — The Little Haiti Optimist Club hosted its first Little Haiti Patriots Football Homecoming on Saturday, featuring a half time presentation, at the Little Haiti Soccer Park, 6301 NE Second Ave. in Miami.
In one year, the Optimist league has grown from one team to five and now also has four certified cheer squads. Two of the teams are in playoff contention in the Pop Warner Division II and have the potential of going to the Sean Taylor Super Bowl with hopes of Regional Plays.
Wilem Jose is the group’s football commissioner.
The ages of the teams and cheer squads range from 4 to 16 and the kids all live in Little Haiti and neighboring communities.
The goal of the program is to teach football and cheerleading fundamentals, teamwork and sportsmanship. In addition, tutoring is available to the kids and academic success is a priority.
DJ Khaled, president of Def Jam South and of We The Best Music Group and an artist and producer, sponsored the competition, along with the city of Miami Parks & Recreation Department, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime, Nationwide Tax Services, MLK Restaurant, Gateway Airport Concessions, Chef Creole Restaurant and WEDR-FM 99 Jamz.
Optimist officials are quick to note that Little Haiti and the wider community have produced at least several current or former NFL players. They include Louis Delmas, safety, Detroit Lions; Elvis Dumervil, outside linebacker, Denver Broncos; Davin Joseph, offensive guard, and Marc Dile, offensive lineman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Max Jean Gilles, offensive guard, Philadelphia Eagles; Ricky Jean-Francois, defensive lineman, San Francisco 49ers; Jocelyn Borgello, corner, formerly with the Detroit Lions; William Joseph, defensive tackle, formerly with the Oakland Raiders; and Carlos Joseph, offensive lineman formerly with the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers.
For more information, call 305-390-0234, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit facebook.com/Little-Haiti-Optimist-Club or littlehaitioptimist.org