New Eastside Football Academy Feeds Reagan High Revival Dreams
By Graham Dickie
Photography By Graham Dickie
The Reagan Football Academy is a new youth football organization for fifth- through seventh-graders in East Austin. The goal is to help revive the flagging Reagan High School program. Sixteen players, recruited from eastside recreation centers this past summer, made up the first class.
The Reagan Academy team lost its first game, against the Junior Mavs from McNeil High School, in late September. Carl Frey, vice president of the Westlake Football Academy, which created the Reagan program, gave them a pep talk.
“How many kids in your neighborhood are playing tackle football?” Frye said. “You gotta own that, you gotta respect that, and you gotta be proud to be a Reagan Football Academy player.”
“The idea of a feeder system in youth football – to me, it’s genius.” Reagan High football coach Keith Carey said. “It’s going to bring us back to where we used to be 10, 20 years ago, when kids knew where they were going to go to school and the heartbeat of the community was strong.”
The Reagan program is running into resource issues. Nevertheless, its leaders are determined to continue. The hope: that one day, some of these kids could be playing for Reagan High.