TULSA, Okla. — The NOAH jaguars are a homeschooled sports league and their football team is having a lot of success this year.
The team took home the National Homeschool Football Tournament Championship title and has several players being recruited by top colleges. This is the first time in NOAH Jaguar history that they have won the championship.
Their coach, James Ballinger explained how amazing it was to win the championship for the first time.
Homeschooling has been assumed to set kids back in sports because it is harder to get recruited from a small organization. These players don’t have that problem.
Danny Okoye is the team’s defensive end and wide receiver. He has 28 offers from D1 schools and is regarded by ESPN as the top recruit in the State of Oklahoma. He sees homeschooling as benefiting his football career.
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“At a public school you might have more funding, things might be a little more organized but homeschool athletics you’re more in charge of you’re own time so you can work during the day and do football in the evenings instead of being in school for eight hours and doing football for three hours after school,” said Okoye.
Chet Green is the team’s quarterback. He is ranked one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the state by six-star football.
The team’s lineman, Ezra Ballinger, has offers from D1 schools as well.
NOAH Jaguars are a homeschooled sports league so they receive no government funding. They play against teams from private schools, some public schools, and other homeschoolers, with more funding and better equipment.
In Oklahoma, homeschoolers cannot play for other public high schools and remain homeschooled. This association built its own sports teams and plays against whoever will play them.
The team is volunteer-based and the coach, parents, and students all pay to be able to play.
Coach James Ballinger explained that this team is working hard and expects great things from these boys as well as from next year’s team.
The team is being recognized by Governor Stitt in Mach for their national title.
“It’s a big commitment and they know they have to make that big commitment if they’re going to be national champions and achieve the goals that we’re looking for. I feel like we have good leadership from the players that hold each other accountable,” said Coach Ballinger.
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