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Warriors seek growth in 4th year

By Mike Stunson mstunson@paducahsun.com

Without a home football team to play for, a group of young men in the western Kentucky area have beat the system to find another way to play the game they love.

The West Kentucky Warriors, a high school football team comprising students from home schools, private schools or public schools without football teams, are now in their fourth season together and have been playing competitively for three years.

Beginning play in 2012 with all their games on the road, the Warriors played two home games last year and will have five home games this year at their field, located at Reidland.

Since these young men do not have the opportunity to play football for a public school in the state, the Warriors play in the Middle Tennessee Athletic Conference and are members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

"Besides learning how to be football players, we have seen them grow as men and they have learned teamwork," said Jim Shadwick, whose sons Jimmy and Tony have been a part of the team since its formation. "They are a great group of young men who have learned to work together."

Coming off a 2-6 season from 2013, the Warriors hosted Franklin Christian Academy on Friday to open their season, but ultimately fell 60-0.

Quarterbacked by Isaac Myskowski, son of head coach Chris Myskowski, most of the players on this year's team play both ways as there are only 17 players on the team.

The Warriors practice only three days a week, so they are left to practice and train in their free time to gear up for games.

"There is a lot of responsibility that comes with it," Shadwick said. "They have to work out on their own. It's not like a public school where they get together five days a week to practice and lift weights."

The opening of the Warriors season comes during the same week the "Tim Tebow" bill was proposed by Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, which would allow home-schooled students the opportunity to play sports at public schools.

The bill is named after former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who was home schooled while in high school but played in public schools. Twenty-six states have similar legislation in place, and Shadwick said he is in full support of the proposed bill.

"I hope they do that. It could give the boys all throughout the state a chance to play," he said. "We are paying taxes for the school system, and our boys should get use out of it."

The Warriors are looking for sponsors and are in need of more players from home school, private schools or public schools that do not offer football. For more information on how to join the team, contact head coach Chris Myskowski at 314-378-7488.

Up next for the Warriors is a road game Aug. 15 before being back home Sept. 5.

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