The Jaguars celebrate youth football athletes, coaches, families and communities with special events and recognitions throughout Play Football Month. A culmination of the Jaguars' year-round efforts to create unique experiences and opportunities for football athletes across north Florida and southeast Georgia, Play Football Month celebrations included clinics, camps, helmet donations, donated game tickets, Play Football Game recognitions and other unique football activities with the team and Jaguars Legends. The team's presentation of Play Football Month will impact more than 5,000 athletes and coaches this month.
On the first full Saturday of 2023 Training Camp, Coach Pederson helped kick off Play Football Month by welcoming seven youth football teams to practice. The Fleming Island Dreadnaughts, North Jax Tigers, Young Men's and Young Women's Leadership Academy Falcons, Oceanway Sports Buccaneers, Westwood Whirlwinds, Oakleaf Renegades and the JaxPAL Mustangs donned Jaguars PREP shirts, watched practice and heard from the head coach who finished his talk with a surprise announcement letting each team know that the Jaguars were donating brand new custom fitted helmets. After getting sized for their new headgear, teams took part in combine drills with Jaguars Legends Aaron Beasley and Lonnie Marts.
It was the first of two helmet donations. Gatorade jumped into mix by surprising the Hawthorne Hornets High School team with 60 brand new helmets to begin their summer drills in anticipation of a strong season from the Hornets.
As the Play Football Month celebrations continued, the Jaguars invited 60 local high school teams to EverBank Stadium for High School Media Day. Coaches and select players were recognized then had the opportunity to meet with the local media before their seasons got underway.
On the second full Saturday of Training Camp 2023, the Jaguars hosted their annual Helmet Hike. Local footballers were thrilled to be paired with a Jaguars player and proudly carried that players helmet out of the tunnel and onto the playing field inside EverBank Stadium to the roar of the crowd. Smiles were seen everywhere as the young athletes looked up and saw themselves on the massive video boards.
On Sunday August 13th, the Jaguars and Legends David Garrard, Joe Zelenka, Adam Podlesh and Jordan Todman welcomed more than 375 girls flag football players for a Future Legends Camp. The girls went through drills and learned from the Legends while enjoying a day of football and fun.
The big finale of Play Football Month is this Saturday's preseason finale as the Jaguars host the Miami Dolphins. The Jaguars donated more than 3,500 tickets to youth football players and coaches across north Florida and southeast Georgia for what is being billed as the 2023 Play Football Game.
- The Play Football Logo will be painted prominently on the field inside EverBank Stadium and the seen on the goal posts. The gameday presentation will feature t-shirt cannons with Jaguars PREP shirts and Jaxson-de-Ville will proudly run out on the field holding PREP flags.
- In the South End Zone, the Jaguars will recognize the Jaguars PREP 5v5 Flag Regional Tournament winners. The first ever Jaguars PREP 5v5 Flag Regional Tournament hosted 50+ teams and 8 won the tourney within their division. They are the 210 Bombers, Turn Up Athletes, St. Augustine Vikings, Team 1K, Girlpower NFL Flag Raiders, Girlpower NFL Flag Jets, the Cowboys, and No Duval BoyZZZZ.
- Up on the North Endzone Deck the Jaguars will honor this year's Times Union Super 11. They are Jake Guarnera from Ponte Vedra High, Deryc Plazz, Jon Mitchell and AJ Belgrave-Shorter from Mandarin High, Colin Hurley from Trinity Christian Academy, Riley Trujillo from Bartram Trail High, Marcelis Tate from Fletcher High, James Resar from Bishop Kenny high, Camden Hardy from Atlantic Coast High and Trent Carter and Garrison Butler from Bolles.
Growing the game! Jaguars host multiple youth football events in celebration of Play Football Month and will culminate on Saturday, August 26th with the Play Football Game vs the Dolphins. 🏈
- The Veteran of the Game will be Pop Warner Coach Andre Alexander from the United States Navy. Alexander served more than 20 years and is an integral part of the Greater Jacksonville Pop Warner League where he has served as the Football Director at Oceanway Sports for the last eight years. Alexander retired to Jacksonville and currently trains security forces for the Navy as a civilian contractor.
- Offering the First DUUUVAL will be Atlantic Coast High School super athlete Gaby Rourke who plays on the school's girls flag team, is the kicker on the varsity football team and serves as the captain of the girls' varsity soccer team. Rourke has also starred on the volleyball and softball teams and has been MVP and All Conference multiple times in her four years of high school.
- Girls Flag team from Florida Gateway College who were named NJCAA Girls Flag champions will get the opportunity to cheer on the players in 'The Shadows' before they run onto the field.
- The Nike 11-On Tournament and Big Lineman Challenge winners, which include Trinity Christian Academy, Lowndes High School, Choctawhatchee High School girls flag team and Escambia High School, will have the honor of holding the flag during the national anthem.
- Half-time will feature a Girls Flag Football Game with Mandarin against Fletcher in the Nike Kickoff Classic and will recognize the boys' teams who will play in the Nike Kickoff Classic on Friday night before the Play Football Game.
The Play Football Game caps off the biggest and most successful Play Football Month yet and the expectation is it will be bigger and better in the years ahead as Jaguars PREP continues to take youth and high school football to the next level.