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Thursday, October 6, 2011

JACKSON JUGGERNAUTS: Reaping The Rewards Of Faithfulness


by Cyrus Webb

We are told that those that show themselves faith in that which is least will be faithful in much. I personally believe that, and I think that kind of faithfulness comes with determination, perseverance and a sense of loyalty that is sometimes hard to find.

There are examples, however, that should give us hope. Take Tran Myers for instance. Tran and I graduated from high school together in 1994 and though we didn't really keep in touch much over the years, both of us have been using our passion for what we love to help inspire other people. Mine was in the arts. For Tran, it was football. This led him to where he is now, a coach for the past couple of years with the Jackson Juggernauts.

Though only three years old, the Jackson Juggernauts has already begun to make a name for itself and rallied the support of Jackson, Mississippi along the way. According to Tran the owner of the team (Joseph Bean of Louisiana) was looking to put together a team that would give men an opportunity to play football and prepare for either entry into college or just help them in their training. Tran had been working with little league football for seven years at the time, and when Bean came to Jackson with the idea of bringing a minor league football team into the city my former classmate reached out, making himself available. "I would go over and run the scoreboard and clock for them," Tran told me. "I was just there to help do whatever they needed to be successful."

Tran explained to me that what the Jackson Juggernauts offer is an opportunity to help individuals who are ready and willing to help themselves. Those eligible are 18 years old and older. There is no real cut off for those who can join the Juggernauts. Some of the plays are between the ages of 40-45. "This is a real opportunity for the guys to get themselves in shape for a junior college or even a four-year college," Tran says.

Looking at what they have achieved in the past couple of years Tran says the guys putting in the effort is what is a welcome surprise for him. "They are trying to take advantage of the opportunity to get back on the field," he says "We are giving them a chance to be seen and heard as well as possibly pick their careers up off the ground."

What is expected of those who want to join the Jackson Juggernauts?

Well, it goes back to the faithfulness I spoke about earlier. Tran explains this way: "They need to basically come out to practice, meet with the coaching staff and be ready to work." He tells me that they have to filter through those who apply and make sure that they are giving the opportunity to those who will really appreciate it and not take advantage of the situation, thus hurting the rest of the team.

There is pressure for the coaches as well. "We want to make sure that we have all of our pieces lined up," he says. "We look at these guys as being two year players for this team. First year you should be getting into the groove of how we run the team, and the second year you should have everything mastered and ready to compete further. This can mean the opportunity to either get back in school or excel further in other ways."

No matter what they have accomplished so far, Tran is always pushing himself and the rest of the team each day. "We finished 10-2 last season," he told me, "but there was room for improvement." It boils down to the dedication aspect, being faithful in the small things. "If you can't do what it takes to be on board, we don't need you," Tran adds.

As with any endeavor in life there have been some body blows for those who make up the Jackson Juggernauts. In 2010 after winning the championship Tran told me that two coaches along with 25 members left and formed their own teams. Ironically they only lasted about 3 games, being "suspended for noncompliance of league rules." The motive for their departure? Money. I believe, though, that it would be fair to say they they showed the level of their faithfulness, nor lack of. As in any project that you devote your time and resources to, your intentions will dictate how far you are filling to go in order to see a favorable result. Tran agrees. After the departure of his fellow coaches and some of the players he helped groom, he understood an important lesson that he was then able to pass on. "If you are not in it for the right reason, you won't succeed," he says. "You can't deceive the guys or yourself. Conduct yourself as a professional at all times."

And so the Jackson Juggernauts move forward, ready for another year of challenges and endless possibilities. Along with them are coaches like Brant Covey, Travis Readus and Tran Myers ready to support and motivate them every step of the way. For those in the Jackson, Mississippi area or wherever the Juggernauts may be playing Tran offer this advice: "Come out and show that this is something that you love, something that is positive and brings people together. In order for us to hold that crown and to be looked at as a premier state, we have to get the word out. It's gong to open doors for these guys in the future."

Another great example of what can be accomplished when you remain faithful and open to the opportunities. For more information about the Jackson Juggernauts search them on Facebook visit http://jacksonjuggernauts.weebly.com. Tran Myers can be reached by email at jacksonjuggernauts@gmail.com or at 601.665.7444.

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