McDougle Family Foundation building strong minds and bodies

Emmett HallForum Publishing Group

During the high school football season, many schools, like Deerfield Beach High School and Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach, enjoy crosstown rivalries. At the McDougle household, the crosstown rivalry extends to family functions and even at the dinner table for Stockar McDougle and his younger brother, Jerome McDougle.

The brothers – both former professionals in the National Football League – played football for the rival high schools while growing up and that rivalry continues today with the annual “McDougle Bowl.”

Stockar McDougle attended Deerfield Beach High School before heading to the University of Oklahoma and then was drafted by the Detroit Lions as an offensive lineman. Jerome McDougle played for the Blanche Ely Tigers before committing to the University of Miami. The defensive tackle was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Both brothers were in attendance for the second annual “McDougle Bowl”, which featured the Deerfield Bucks coming to the Tigers home turf for a Friday night contest. The Deerfield Bucks prevailed, winning 30-12 in a game shortened due to weather and a power outage. Stockar McDougle enjoyed the bragging rights based on the Bucks victory, but he and his brother were more interested in helping student-athletes in their pursuit of higher education.

The McDougle Family Foundation gave out two $1,000 college scholarships to the Most Valuable Player for each team. Deerfield senior quarterback Teddrick Moffett and Ely senior linebacker David Francis were this year’s recipients of the scholarships.

For Stockar and Jerome McDougle, it’s not enough to be just a professional athlete. The “Firstability” concept of the McDougle Family Foundation, which was founded in 2007, is all about a balance between academics and athletics and that point was underscored with the scholarship offerings.

“The scale is off with too much emphasis placed on athletics,” Stockar McDougle said. “Hundreds of athletes fall through the cracks and don’t have the opportunity to go any further. There are legends in Pompano and Deerfield, where we grew up, [who] never got that chance and Jerome and I are tired of seeing that.”

The McDougle Family Foundation offers counseling, a mentor and nutrition program. The mission is to provide resources and support, to promote health and wellness, education and social development for children and their families. Student-athletes in all sports are given the opportunity to be part of the program. Most of the work is done at sporting events through camps, clinics and youth programs during the summer months and holidays.

“The important part is we want these kids to get into college and excel,” Jerome McDougle said. “We want to start the students off with the tools to succeed. The McDougle Bowl is super important because it’s about two guys coming back to the community to show the kids there are many ways to make it to the next level. You get through the front door and achieve success through academics.”

Deerfield Beach High School Athletic Director Vince Tozzi has been with the school since 1995. He is impressed with what he sees with the McDougle Foundation.

“These kids look up to these NFL players who come back to their old neighborhoods,” Tozzi said. “Stockar would come out and practice with our football players even after he got drafted by the Detroit Lions. He and his brother never forgot where they came from. Everybody talks a good game, but the McDougle brothers put their money where their mouth is and really step up to the plate. They are providing a solution to a problem and that’s perfect.”

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