2 North Memphis schools come together on the gridiron to honor advocate for the city’s youth
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One Trezevant High School administrator says 11 of his students have been murdered in the past five years.
Imagine that kind of struggle while trying to promote success among students.
Coach and Assistant Principal Eric L. Brent says Trezevant is finding some academic and athletic success, and they plan to celebrate with an upcoming football game that also celebrates a man who has dedicated his life to helping thousands of youths in the city.
“Trezevant is one of the best-kept secrets in the city of Memphis,” said Brent.
Brent knows football builds communities, and communities build stronger academics.
“For a lot of people that know me, I’m a big advocate for education, very big on acronyms, so I came up with the acronym BE MASSIVE. Be massive stands for Believe Everyone Makes Academic Strives So I Value Education,” said Brent.
Brent says six years ago, when he started working at the school, he met Trezevant alum and retired Memphis Police officer Craig Littles.
“One day after school, I noticed that there were hundreds of kids roaming around after school, and it’s my job as an administrator; I was wondering where they came from,” said Brent.
In 2018 Littles set up an after-school program inside the North Memphis school, which included a computer lab, gaming room, mentoring, and nutritional programs.
The facility was available to not only students at Trezevant but any child that needed a safe place to go after school from 3 to 8 pm.
What Brent learned as a new administrator was what the community had known for decades.
Littles has a long history of investing in youth in this city.
In addition to the after-school program, Littles founded the Memphis Shelby Police Activities League 30 years ago.
Currently, PAL gives about 2,000 kids in the city a chance to learn about an array of sports, which helps to build community simultaneously.
“It gets more of the community involved, gets more of the family involved grandparents come out to see their grandbabies, play, mothers, fathers, brothers, cousins,” said PAL volunteer coach Terrence Lanier.
So that gave Brent an idea to create the Craig Littles BEMASSIVE Classic, putting neighborhood rivals Trezevant and Raleigh Egypt High Schools on the gridiron while honoring one of their own.
“I’m very humbled. I’m very privileged to know that the work that’s being done is being seen,” said Littles.
Brent says the football game will raise money and awareness for both schools.
While the Frayser and Raleigh communities get a lot of attention for crime, Brent also says Trezevant has been recognized as a Level 3 school this year based on TVAAS scores.
Last year Trezevant was a level one.
For ticket information about the Craig Littles BEMASSIVE Classic game: Home - BEMASSIVE Classic
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