Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

"Handcuff Bowl" at Perris High School

Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez, City Councilwoman Rita Rogers, P-Town Combat Sports Authority and Perris Panthers Football League co-founder Andre Mitchell and Perris Mayor Daryl Busch prior to the start of the June 1 “Handcuff Bowl” at Perris High School. Mitchell holds the handcuff Bowl Trophy.
Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez, City Councilwoman Rita Rogers, P-Town Combat Sports Authority and Perris Panthers Football League co-founder Andre Mitchell and Perris Mayor Daryl Busch prior to the start of the June 1 “Handcuff Bowl” at Perris High School. Mitchell holds the handcuff Bowl Trophy.

The football field at Perris High School became the site of the 2013 “Handcuff Bowl” on June 1 when a team of public safety officials from Southern California took on their counterparts from Detroit in a charity event to raise money for the P-Town Combat Sports Authority.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch threw out the first “ceremonial” football at the start of the game and he was joined by City Councilwoman Rita Rogers and City Councilman Julio Rodriguez, who thanked the crowd for attending to support a worthy cause.

Founded by Los Angeles Police Officer Andre Mitchell, the P-Town Combat Sports Academy and the Perris Panthers Football League provide coaching and mentoring for more than 600 youngsters and teen-agers.

A few of the elite players and pugilists turn pro but all receive after-school tutoring and learn life skills they say provide the keys to a successful education and firm foundations for great careers and productive lives. Mitchell said Perris officials have supported his efforts for a decade.

An up-close look at the Handcuff Bowl Trophy.
An up-close look at the Handcuff Bowl Trophy.

The City provides a play area for football games at Patriot Park and several City officials attended a fund-raising auction earlier in 2013 at the combat sports academy headquarters on Indian Avenue.

“There isn’t a better place to be,” Mitchell said. “I can’t say enough about how much we’ve enjoyed working with the City over the years. We would not be here without the wonderful and continuing support from Perris.”

Both teams that took to the Perris High School football field are members of the National Public Safety Football League, which includes 28 squads from around the country. The teams are made up of police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, FBI agents and U.S. Marshals.

The teams pay their own expenses and raise money to offset travel and equipment costs through the sales of t-shirts and other merchandise. Members of both the California Strike Force and the Detroit Motor City Mustangs include major college players, high-school athletes and recreational footballers.

Victor McDowell, a Los Angeles police detective and coach of the Strike Force, said competitions like to Handcuff Bowl allows the public to see law enforcement officers as regular people. “It connects the community with law enforcement,” McDowell said. Mayor Busch and the other elected officials said they were excited the City hosted the Handcuff Bowl.

Pre-game activities also included the introduction of the three-latest Perris Panthers Football League players to receive college scholarships. Terin Solomon, of Murrieta Valley High School, is headed to Oregon State University to play safety; K.J. Young, of Citrus Hills High School, is off to Oklahoma to play wide receiver and teammate Tonya Yim received a scholarship to Maryville State University in North Dakota, where he is slated to play strong safety.

The Perris High School ROTC served as Color Guard during the playing of the National Anthem.
The Perris High School ROTC served as Color Guard during the playing of the National Anthem.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to do this and I am delighted,” Busch said. “It gives people the opportunity to see some semi-professional football up-close and we also get to acknowledge some of our high-school athletes for their accomplishments.”

Councilman Rodriguez said partnership between the City, P-Town and the Perris Panthers Football League and law enforcement was a big coup for the City. “It’s a win-win for the entire area,” he said. “It exposes our youth to positive role models and it gives the public something to do on a Saturday afternoon.”

Councilwoman Rogers said she was excited to “show our hospitality to police officers from California and Detroit” and to support P-Town and the Perris Panthers Football League. “I am delighted they came out to raise money for such a great cause,” she said.

Detroit Police Officer Levan Adams said games like the Handcuff Bowl support a variety of good causes. The Motor City squad participates in fund-raising for Children’s Hospital in Detroit. “We play for the love of the game and to support worthwhile charities,” Adams said. “These games give us a chance to relieve our stress and let people know that we’re just like everybody else. We’re not the bad guys.”

The Detroit team came to Perris with a distinct disadvantage. They brought only 11 players which meant everyone had to play both offense and defense. The weather didn’t help. Temperatures approached 115 degrees on the field. The outcome was predictable: California Strike Force 21; Detroit Motor City Mustangs 0.