Albert Lea Grizzlies president Craig Schmidt, left, along with Jason Kuipers, right, presents a check of $750 to Albert Lea head football coach Max Jeffrey. The Tigers will use the donation to purchase new jerseys for the seventh-grade football team. The funds were raised at the Grizzlies’ exhibition game in October. — Submitted
Albert Lea Grizzlies president Craig Schmidt, left, along with Jason Kuipers, right, presents a check of $750 to Albert Lea head football coach Max Jeffrey. The Tigers will use the donation to purchase new jerseys for the seventh-grade football team. The funds were raised at the Grizzlies’ exhibition game in October. — Submitted

Grizzlies donate to Tigers

Published 9:51am Monday, April 8, 2013

Albert Lea nine-man football team ready to kick off season

The Albert Lea Grizzlies football team donated $750 to the Albert Lea Tigers on Friday with proceeds from an October exhibition game.

Tigers’ head coach Max Jeffrey will use the funds to purchase new game jerseys for the seventh-grade football team.

Grizzlies president Craig Schmidt said the nonprofit football organization also has a scholarship program in the works for graduating high school seniors.

The Grizzlies will hold an exhibition game against the Tri-State Buffaloes — an expansion team — at the Hammer junior varsity field at 4 p.m. Saturday. Attendence is free.

“These guys just play for the love of the game,” Schmidt said.

The preseason game will be used to prepare the Grizzlies for their season opener at 7 p.m. May 4 at the North Iowa Bucks.

The first official week of the season is April 27, but the Grizzlies have a bye week.

After the exhibition game, the Grizzlies will have a fundraiser at Harold’s Bar with a raffle and grand prize of $1,000 to help pay for the cost of transportation and officiating.

“Players pay a fee to play, and they provide their own equipment, but we try to assist with that,” Schmidt said.

The Grizzlies play in a nine-team league with squads from Minnesota and Iowa.

The Grizzlies are a member of the Southern Plains Football League, which is one of two nine-man football leagues in the nation.

The other league is the National Nineman Football League, and the two leagues will meet for a championship game in Coravallis, Ore. on July 27.

Last season, the title game featured the South Central Hawks and the South Valley Vandals in the Metrodome.

Castro