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Junior Terriers coach and players to play on all state team

Dustin Duncan

Carbondale Times 

 Antonio Ragland is very excited for a few members of Carbondale Junior Terriers football team, and for the team as a whole. 

Ragland, who is the head coach of the Junior Terriers, participates in a junior football league with teams from Murphysboro, Carterville, Herrin, Marion, West Frankfort, Benton, Centralia, Anna and Massac County. Ragland said he has been a coach for the program for eight years, and a baseball coach for the past four years. 

The past three years have been spent as the head coach of the Junior Terriers and the team has been undefeated in conference play for the past three years. 

“A community program like Carbondale Jr. Sports is very valuable for today’s youths,” Ragland said. “Not only because it helps develop young athletes but it gives the kids something to do. This is great because a lot of kids tend to find trouble if they have too much free time on their hands.”

He said many of these players will move on to Carbondale Community High School with the hopes of contributing to the high school 

varsity team. 

After the season ended, Ragland got a call from Team Illinois of the Football University National Championship.  This is a team that participates in a six-round national tournament hosted in seven cities with 192 teams comprised of 6,720 athletes from all across the United States to play each other in Naples, Florida to become the national champion, according to Ragland. 

Upon receiving the call, Ragland was offered a coaching opportunity with the team, and he accepted. He also took three players – one being his son, Darius Ragland – to tryout for the team in Bloomington in October. They all made the roster. 

The games will be played in Overland Park, Kansas on Dec. 2-5, and if the team is successful, it will be in Naples, Florida for a championship week Dec. 17-20. Ragland says the games for the championship will be aired on ESPN. 

Victory Dream Center to provide for 400 families during holiday season

Carbondale Times

 

The Victory Dream Center in Carbondale has announced its eighth annual Spirit of Love/Operation 400 Food and Gift Drive. 

According to the center, more than 40,000 pounds of food and more than 1,000 toys and other gifts will be given away to local families in need. 

The center says it has expanded its operation and will provide larges boxes of gifts and food to 400 families on Sunday, Dec. 11. 

The center is looking to raise $7,500 to fund this project. Checks can be made out to VDC (Victory Dream Center), and may be mailed to 607 E. College Street, or can be dropped off at the center Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Toys can also be dropped off through Dec. 10. 

Suggested items are games, stuffed animals, blocks, dolls, tea sets, trucks and cars, puzzles, tool sets, art supplies, balls, jewelry, keyboards and other musical toys.  For teens, suggestions are bath products, wallets, purses, journals, diaries, and athletic equipment including basketballs and footballs.  Those contributing toys that need batteries are asked to include the batteries and to tape them to the box.  Candles are also not recommended because of the risk of fire.  Gifts should not be wrapped because the participants will be choosing the gifts for their children.

Community members can also volunteer to pack boxes on Dec. 10. The assembly line will form at 9 a.m. and is usually finished by 3 p.m.

A voucher is required to receive a box and gifts. Vouchers will be distributed at the center from 10 to 11 a.m. on Dec. 6. 

The center is located at 607 E. College Street, across from the fire department. 

 

For more information, contact Nathan Cherry at the church at 618-351-8018 or 618-525-2025. 

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