A local football club is preparing its players for success on and off the field.
Ray Baxter, Northeast Elite Rebels head coach and offensive coordinator, reformed the Bronx Rebels, a youth football club, and transformed it into an adult football club.
He said it was a natural fit to bring the Elite back, formerly a college club team, but as a team for those who want to play on a disciplined team.
The Elite use football as a way to motivate college-age city men into advancing their education beyond high school.
“We also work off the field with players when we can, assisting with resume writing, obtaining job interviews or even mentorship,” he said. “I’ve found myself talking to guys at two in the morning just because they needed someone to talk them down from a situation or needed advice.”
The Rebels were formed in 1987 by five individuals who previously coached the Bronx Trojans, another youth group that played in the storied Buddy Young Football League in Harlem.
The team sported the Trojans’ black and gold colors when they played at Williamsbridge Oval.
Over the years, the Rebels changed fields, coaches and their colors from maroon and gold to maroon and white.
From 2005 to 2011, the Rebels played at Evanders Childs High School in a partnership with the Take the Field program brokered by the New York Giants.
The team’s motto and passion remains the same – Rebel Power – Rebel Pride – the power to overcome any challenge and take pride in the program and its players.
“We teach family, as once you are a Rebel you will always be a Rebel,” explained Baxter.
Several Rebels have found success as scientists, accountants and family men.
Ari Nissim, Rebels player from 1993 to 1994, became a NY Jets director of Football Administration and is now a Roc Nation agent.
Baxter folded the program in 2011 and began coaching with Monroe College from 2012 to 2014, but left when his parents became ill.
Following his mother’s passing in 2015, several young men who played for Baxter asked to restart the Rebels.
Baxter assembled a coaching staff and relaunched the program.
The Elite were once the original collegiate football program in NYC and played against the University of Maine, University of Vermont and Eastern Connecticut University among others.
The team competes in the Triboro Football League against such teams as the Long Island Eagles, New York Crusaders and Brooklyn Bobcats.
Notable Elites include Collegiate Elite Team alumni offensive lineman Erol Brentou, defensive end Leroy Berbick and defensive tackle Chris Whitaker; running backs Darryl Shuler, Trimmel Williams and Donell Carter; receivers De Angelo Perry and Marcellus Smallwood; tight end/fullback David Miranda; strong safety Rashod McNulty; linebacker Kyle Justin and safety Jay Gomes.
Baxter would like to thank Charles Williams, defensive coordinator; Steve O’Bryant, offensive/defensive line coach; Shawn O’Connor, Special Teams-Strength and Conditioning trainer and Crystal Taylor, administrator for their help with the Elite.
Tryouts resume in late January.
For information, contact Baxter at (718) 450-0209 or rbj62
The Elite can be found on Facebook at www.faceb