By Eric Schmidt

The Florida Stingrays, a Southwest Florida semi-pro football team is hitting the field for yet another season. Last season, I covered the team and was introduced to some quality individuals surrounding this franchise. As a disclaimer, the head coach of the Stingrays this upcoming season will be Chris Morant, the very coach which will write in the coaches corner for Thepigskinreport this year. Mr. Morant is of the highest character and while at James Madison University, he shattered the single season sack record which was held by Charles Haley. Yes, that Charles Haley.

Local semi-pro teams need a lot of local support and the Stingrays are no different. Mr. Morant has sent out a press release this afternoon in order to try to aid in the daunting task of assembling the $40,000.00 needed in order to field a team in 2013. Sponsorship offers are available and I am simply passing the information along in order to help the franchise field a team this coming year.

Come on Southwest Florida. I covered Coach Chris and the Stingrays last season and other semi pro teams. I invited Coach Chris onto Thepigskinreport because of the quality of his character and his knowledge of the game. I know that the economy is struggling, and our businesses are in the offseason, but you should contact Coach Chris and see how you might contribute to the football club and participate in our local economy. Contact information follows at the base of the press release which follows.

From the Stingrays Press release-

The Florida Stingrays Football organization, are a member of the Florida Football Alliance. The Florida Stingrays, through H.AN.D.S.U.P. Charity, are a nonprofit 501c-3 football organization that promotes scholastics, fitness and moral values to the many football athletes in our community who are also being prepared for college and higher levels of football around the country. The organization is run by a group of dedicated volunteers and coaches who are responsible for preparing these young men for what they will face once they reach the next level in their professional football careers. It is a grassroots effort and a major devotion in helping to transform our young men in the communities to respected men of tomorrow.
The Stingrays in 2012 were members of the Southern Amateur Football Association (SAFA) for their inaugural season. The team finished in second place in the Southern Division and earned a playoff spot.  Unfortunately, the first season did not include a championship, but it did produce quality players that learned not only the game of football from our dedicated coaches, but also learned the game of life.
Each year the cost of running an organization increases as safety equipment, uniforms and insurance fees rise. Today’s economy does not allow us to increase our registration fees to our players. As much as they have a dream to play football, they do have a responsibility to pay their way, but we still have a duty not to over charge them to play. We rely on the sponsorship of local businesses and individuals so that we may keep our costs down and continue to provide a quality product for our fans.
We are seeking sponsorships / donations which are also tax deductible that will be put towards our total goal of $40,000 and any amount you provide is greatly appreciated and would help to ensure and enable us to continue to provide this invaluable service in our players and our community.
We have expenses that include but not limited to, football equipment, uniforms, field fees, league dues and transportation that must be met timely in order for us to get started and be ready for the upcoming 2013 football season. 
We look forward to hearing from you and we hope that you will get onboard and join us for another wonderful season of helping to mold the men of tomorrow through sport and life lessons.

If you wish to contribute to the Stingrays, you can contact Chris Morant at or via telephone at 540-435-8258.





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