OAKLAND, Calif. - The competition was fierce at Oakland Technical High School Sunday morning for the first ever tryout for the Oakland Panthers, the Bay Area’s new and only Indoor Football League team.
Nearly 200 athletes tested their skills on the gridiron including Taylor Tappin, “Trying to get a good workout in show what I got hopefully have an opportunity to play some more football,” he said.
The tryout brought potential players from all over the country like Bilao Omar from Maryland. He was visiting Oakland for the first time to attend the event, “It’s a good opportunity a lot of people out here today so I’d like to have fun today,” he said.
The team is co-owned by former NFL star and Bay Area native Marshawn Lynch. He went to school at Oakland Tech so the field carries a lot of memories. The new addition to The Town brings excitement to a city that’s lost the Golden State Warriors and Oakland Raiders.
“It’s going to be us and the Oakland A’s in the East Bay and we’re pretty darn excited,” said Panthers head coach Kurt Bryan.
Coaches were scouting prospects for months and will hold other tryouts in San Jose and Austin, Texas. They will announce the 40 people chosen for the training camp this week and 15 will eventually be cut, leaving room for a 25-player roster to kick off the first game at Oakland Arena, formerly Oracle Arena, in March 2020.
“It’s an exciting time if I get an opportunity to play here in the Bay it would be fun and I know I would have a lot of people rooting for me,” said prospect Jujuan Lawson.