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Local first responders take to gridiron for charity

June 22, 2012
Special to the Town Crier

On May 12, local first responders Poland Village Police Sgt. Jim Craven and Campbell firefighter Rob Eggleston completed their 2012 season with the Cleveland Warriors of the National Public Safety Football League with a 19-6 win over the Houston Gunners at Alief Stadium in Houston.

Teams of the NPSFL play full contact semi-pro football under NCAA rules. Overall, the Warriors finished with a record of 3-2 (3-1 in league play) with the remaining wins coming against the Orange County, Calif., Lawmen and the Columbus Marauders. Losses came to the Chicago Enforcers and the Cincinnati Ambassadors.

The Warriors, as well as all the teams in the NPSFL, are 501c3 charities and play for a charity of their choice. This year, the Warriors played on behalf of Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital as well as the Chardon Foundation in support of the community following the violent event of February 2012.

Craven is a 1993 Youngstown Woodrow Wilson graduate and 2003 Youngstown State University graduate. He is a 12-year veteran of the Poland Village Police Department and completed his second year at outside linebacker for the Warriors. He also saw action on the offensive side of the ball at H-Back as well as long snapping on field goals and special teams play. Craven is also an OHSAA football official. He is married to Sunshine Craven, a Liberty elementary teacher, and they have a four-year-old son, William.

Eggleston, a 2004 graduate of Struthers High School, finished a successful first year with the Warriors. After earning the starting position at fullback, he became one of the keys members of a stubborn rushing attack. He also saw time at defensive end and on special teams. Eggleston is currently attending Youngstown State University majoring in special education.

The Warriors will immediately begin preparations for the 2013 season.

"We're looking to recruit some of the talent among our areas first responders. We're also looking for volunteer coaches, trainers, and support staff. Some of the best football in the country is played right here in the Mahoning Valley and we would like to have that represented in the NPSFL for the 27 teams across the nation to see," said Craven. "The NPSFL presents a great opportunity for the public to see first responders in a different and positive light as well as see very quality football. Those eligible are law enforcement officers, corrections officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and military personnel with a first responder designation."

Player experience throughout the league includes high school, college, semi-pro, and the NFL.

For informatio, contact Craven by email at or by telephone at 330-502-9402.



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