The greater Pensacola Jets were founded in 2013 as a nonprofit pro minor league football team. The mission is to help provide young athletes with a fresh start on their adult lives. By playing, they get an opportunity to be offered to play for a college football team. Some have the chance to be seen by scouts at a higher professional level, such as Arena Leagues, Canadian Leagues, and perhaps an NFL squad. While pursuing the dream of a career in football, these young men are also being mentored and taught how to be better men, sons, fathers, husbands, and productive citizens. Their backgrounds and life experiences have not always allowed them to learn and understand the appropriate skills required to be a productive member of society. As a member of this team and being part of our organization, we introduce those skills and, with guidance and positive support, help achieve this mission one man at a time.
We are active and involved in the community with a relentless passion. We strive to make our community better each day by giving our time and our resources. Activities include beach and park cleanups, rebuilding playground equipment for the kids, volunteering with local churches and homeless shelters, participating in carwash fundraisers, and many more. This community involvement provides a connection between the young men and the city in which they live. It provides emotional bonds through friendships made with civic leaders. It provides a new perspective about their value to themselves and the residents with whom they interact, and most importantly, it provides a sense of pride and life purpose. This involvement is the first and most important step in stopping the repetitive cycle of self-destruction that is being passed down generationally. It allows every member of this community to see that all citizens have worth and value but just need a little hope, guidance, knowledge, and direction.
Two of our success stories are Malyk Steward and Evan Allen, both of whom played for the Pensacola Jets for three seasons. Both of these outstanding young men have been working hard, have put effort into the program, and have been offered a scholarship to Faulkner University. Another success story is Maurice Banks, who played for the Pensacola Jets for three seasons. He also put his blood, sweat, and tears into the program and is now in training camp with an arena football team. The commitment these men have shown to themselves, to their teammates, and to the community is reaping rewards. Through each bonding session and team event, this new knowledge, perspective, belief, and love have ensured that they have a bright future.
My name is Fred Barnet. I started the Pensacola Jets because that’s how I started my pro career: by playing semi-pro ball and getting seen by scouts. So, I tell each of these young men, “If I can do it, then you can do it!” I want to do everything I can to help each of them do the same. I lead by example on how to become a great man, regardless of background, skin color, ethnicity, religion, or any other obstacle that somebody may feel is holding them back—because greatness is earned, not given!
We are looking for partners and sponsors who share our mission and our dream. Your personal time and financial resources are needed to help us achieve our goals. We just won the SAFL Championship last fall and humbly look to make a playoff/championship run in the APDFL this spring 2020. Nobody ever becomes successful alone, so please join us by supporting us and helping the young men in our city to become great men in our community!