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7

Jan, 2021

Former NFL player forging ahead with Dothan youth recreation center plans

Izell Reese, former NFL player, is pushing forward with bringing a big community development project at Dothan’s former Grandview Elementary School and released more details to many excited county commissioners on Thursday.

In the early parts of the morning’s administrative meeting, Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver and Commissioner Curtis Harvey condemned Wednesday’s assault on the capitol by Trump supporters.

“One of the things that was important, especially now given the comments that you all have made, it's even more important to do more things that are sustainable for the kids in this community,” Reese said, adding that his pride in the community is the reason he has decided to make Dothan the headquarters of Alabama Youth Centers.

Reese continued to describe multiple sports, education, and health and wellness programs that will be available at affordable prices to youth ages 8-18 in the area including basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis, college prep, STEM programs, music, nutrition and others.

“In addition to that, it will also lend itself to other opportunities through youth sports programming to attract youth from other states around the country for certain events that will create economic impact, as well as create job opportunities by being able to facilitate the programming that takes place within this center,” Reese said.

During the meeting, he requested the commission’s help with grading and site work to prepare the ground for fields for the Alabama Youth Centers’ flagship program: NFL FLAG Football Leagues.

Reese said they would be the first NFL FLAG football fields in the country, and would make the facility an attractive spot for tournaments.

All of the commissioners applauded Reese’s effort in bringing the first of its kind facility to his hometown. Later in an interview, Culver said the request would likely be approved at the next regular city commission meeting on Monday given elected officials’ enthusiasm for the project.

Reese also indicated that the community youth recreation center in Dothan is not the only one planned. He has discussed the idea with city officials in Birmingham as well, and eventually hopes to have centers all over the state.

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