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Dothan native, former NFL player Izell Reese to open community center
Credit: NFL Flag Football

Dothan native, former NFL player Izell Reese to open community center

DOTHAN, Ala. — Three things pour out of former NFL player and Dothan native, Izell Reese…love for his family, for sports, and for his hometown. The Izell Reese Community Center is coming to Dothan because of those things.

Reese, born and raised in Dothan, graduated from Northview High School where he was a standout football player. He walked on the UAB Football Team and was named the starter at strong safety in his freshman year. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round and played in the NFL for seven seasons. He also played for the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills. Since his retirement from football, Reese has remained active in youth sports and has been the Executive Director of NFL Flag Football for over two years.

He began dreaming of making an impact on Dothan youth years ago. He approached city officials to ask for the donation of the building once occupied by Grandview Elementary School. Officials could see the potential and the deal was soon done. The center will house NFL Flag Football and other sports, education and health and wellness programs. The center will eventually become a YMCA. Construction recently began on the fields behind the school. There will be three regulation turf flag football fields and an additional six grass fields less than two blocks away at city-owned Wiregrass Park. Because of the proximity and the number of fields, the organization can host regional, state, and national NFL Flag Football tournaments with 50-70 teams participating. Dothan will be the first city in the country to ever host an NFL tournament that doesn’t have an NFL team.

Reese was quick to give credit to Visit Dothan President and CEO, Aaron McCreight and former Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Dean Mitchell for getting the project off the ground in Dothan. He said, “I am so excited this project is coming together. It will make an economic impact. But, the key reason to do this is the kids.”

The league and tournaments are scheduled to begin in the fall of 2023. Reese concluded by saying, “The timing is just right for Dothan.” We couldn’t agree with you more Izell and we appreciate you investing back in the town that invested in you!

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