Derrick Williams and Keom Savoy played for the North Philly Blackhawks in the mid-1990s and never left.
They grew through the program, rising from players to junior coaches, to assistant coaches, and eventually head coaches, where they led the team to the 2010 Pop Warner National football championship.
"We used to have to do everything the hard way," Williams said. "It's a nice change of pace to do things the easy way now and not have to worry about rocks and glass."
The were all smiles yesterday as for the first time in the Blackhawk program's 45-year history, the team received the needed funds to transform their brown-stained football field into a gridiron.
Local officials announced a $2.5 million donation to renovate the field, located at 11th and Cecil B. Moore in the heart of Temple University and North Philadelphia.
Savoy, giddy with excitement about the upcoming changes, said the team will support its community.
"We're going to bring revenue to the community," he said. "We're going to give back."
The grass field will be replaced with new artificial turf. New field goal posts and a scoreboard will be installed, as well as new paving, fencing and landscaping. The baseball field in the southeast corner will also be renovated, along with the restrooms and locker rooms.
The fields will be shared between the Blackhawks and St. Joe’s Prep High School athletic teams, which contributed money along with the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Philadelphia Eagles.
A Nutter administrator said Temple, which surrounds the field, made a late offer to contribute but it was not accepted.