Al Dia: Football Brings Kensington Together

Luis Graciani and Felix Rodriquez practiced at Scanlon Park in Kensington.
Luis Graciani and Felix Rodriquez practiced at Scanlon Park in Kensington.

American football is a sport that has been bringing people together for decades.

In Kensington, football is more than just a game to the boys and men who play at Scanlon Park every week. In two separate leagues, one for boys from 13  to 18 years old and one for men over 18. The players get together on teams to practice and play against one another.

Each team is associated with a different church in Philadelphia. For the younger team, the boys must memorize a verse from the bible, if they don’t know the verse, they can’t play.  After the games, they all kneel together and pray.

This is German “Champ” Sanchez III first year playing in the men’s league.

“Before this team, I haven’t seen the inside of a church for maybe five or six years.  Now, I’m in there every chance I can get.”

This sport and these teams give guys a chance to stay off the streets and away from drugs and other bad influences.  “It’s more than just football,” said Felix Rodriguez, a 16-year-old player. “We’ve become friends with the people that we play with when we are off the field too.”

Boys and men from both age groups practiced at Scanlon Park in Kensington.

Pastor Ben Rosario said he has been proud to be part of this program and to be a role model for many of the men in the community.  On April 7, 2012, there is an event called The Man in the Mirror about men from various backgrounds and experiences and how they follow God and embrace their roles in the community.

This event takes place at 576 W. Dauphin St. (at the corner of Sixth and Dauphin).  For any additional questions, please contact Pastor Ben Rosario at 267-312-0284 or

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