They aren’t playing for big-time contracts or full-ride scholarships. The Zanesville Jets are the newest semi-pro attraction to hit the Y-City. They’re here because of their common passion for the sport of football.
"We love it. We just simply love it," said lineman Jaman Miller. "For me… I got kids. They’re 10 and 7, and it’s like ‘Dad, we’ve never seen you play.’ When I put on my helmet and come out here with these guys… We talk trash, but we just simply love the game."
"It feels amazing just to be back here on the field and calling the playing and (to be) around a group of guys as committed as these guys to try to get better," said quarterback Archie Miller, a 2004 graduate of Zanesville High School. It’s just an amazing feeling, to get back out here on the field."
The Jets are comprised of players from the high school level all the way up to 40-year-old Semi-Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Harter. Their mission is simple: to provide entertainment for fans and an opportunity for players by playing a championship brand of football.
"Zanesville (has) a lot of talent out here," said quarterback and defensive back Tyler Ransom, a Maysville grad who is joined on the team by his brother, Todd. "For the ones that’s sitting around and still kicking themselves in the behind and saying they (want) another chance to play, this is the opportunity to get out here."
Eric Clark will patrol the sidelines for the Jets this summer. With the regular season opener just over a month away, coach likes what he sees.
"Actually, we’ve meshed a lot," said Clark, who also coaches for Zanesville Middle School. "We’ve had some guys show up and prove a lot of things to us, so we’ve gelled a lot and we’ve come together and like I said we’ve kind of built off each other’s experiences and we’re going to keep growing."
But the growth and success the Jets have experienced so far comes as no surprise to the team. By the end of the season, their goal is to be the best.
"Our main concern… is going to the championship," said Jevonne Reese, who doubles as a tight end and defensive lineman. "Trying to get to the next level is what we’re trying to do."
"We have a discussion board online and we talk about it, and that’s our main goal: championship," Miller said. "That’s where we want to go and that’s where we’re headed."
The Jets will head to Cincinnati for a scrimmage on Saturday. Their regular season opener is slated for Saturday, May 31 on the road against the Pittsburgh Blue Devils.