Mathes Rich wondered aloud earlier this year, ‘Branson’s a football town, isn’t it?’ Assured the pigskin is a high priority locally, he felt compelled to kick off efforts to bring semi-pro, eight-man football to Branson as soon as next spring.
Rich is doing prep work to put together a roster to form the original Taney County Nightmares, who will join the Central Plains Football League (CPFL) and play a 10-man schedule beginning in April.
Tryouts for prospective players will be held Dec. 14 at the Branson RecPlex.
“Anybody 18 and older can play,” Rich said. “We’re looking forward to former high school or college players who are looking for something to do and want to bring some family-friendly football to Branson.
“We’ll find a spot on the team for anybody who wants to play and is dedicated. We also need anybody who wants to help out as one of our coaches.”
Rich came up with the idea to form the Nightmares and serve as a player/coach after playing for the Ozark Titans out of Springfield last year.
“I’m getting up there in age. I’m 27 years old,” said Rich, a former prep running back at Marshall who earned a scholarship to Michigan State but never played for the Spartans. “I’m still trying to hang out with the younger cats.”
The CPFL is currently a 13-team league. In addition to Branson and Springfield, Missouri cities with a team are Joplin, Kansas City, Belton and Kearney.
The Nightmares have purchased equipment formerly used by Branson’s high school team. Rich is looking for sponsors to help with costs associated with travel, uniforms, field rental, etc.
He hopes to be able to donate ticket sales from home games to local churches.
Games will be held on Saturday afternoons, with the Nightmares’ home schedule to be played at the RecPlex.
To contact Rich for more info, call or text at 417-598-0308 or e-mail at email@example.com.