Football in the spring?
By Holly Shaffner
Just when the Superbowl ends each year, another league is getting started. Comprised of 22 teams throughout the country, the National Public Safety Football League (NPSFL) plays semi-professional, full-contact football and raises money for their selected charities. Every player is employed in law enforcement, as first responders or active duty military.
San Diego has had a team since 1999. Their colors are red and black and they are the San Diego Enforcers. They are two-time National Champions and six-time Western Division Champions. For 19 years, the Enforcers have been playing semi-professional football and giving back to their local community.
Coaching this team for those 19 years is Head Coach, Brian Salmon, who led the team to win their eight titles. “It’s bigger than football. The entire organization is committed to supporting our community, local charities and is providing a high level of football on the field. The players, volunteers, coaches and staff help make football a huge part of the San Diego community.”
And giving back to the community is what this nonprofit organization loves to do. Since their inception, they have donated over $200,000 to United Cerebral Palsy, Susan G. Komen, San Diego Brain Tumor Foundation and many military organizations such as Semper Fi, Team Red, White and Blue and the Travis Manion Foundation. Honor Flight San Diego, the organization which takes WWII veterans to Washington, D.C., was named the 2017 military charity and they have been selected again for the 2018 season.
The Enforcers give back to the local community in more ways than through donations. They make visits to hospitals to cheer-up sick patients and they participate in the annual Holiday Celebration for Kaiser Kids with Cancer; most importantly they do it as a family. The Enforcer family is made up of football players, coaches, support staff, and the best dance team in the NPSFL – the Enforcer Girls! The EGs, as they are called, have performed internationally and a few of the dancers have gone on to become Charger girls.
In 2015, John Buckley took the helm as President of the San Diego Enforcers. He works full-time as a U.S. Marshall and in his “free time” he volunteers as President of the nonprofit organization plus on game days you can find him coaching on the sidelines. “The Enforcers organization provides me with an opportunity to do two things I am extremely passionate about – football and helping the less fortunate. Being able to help others through the sport of football is truly a blessing. When you have a group of people on the same page of accomplishing a common goal, you can do anything.”
The team raises money in a variety of ways each season and just like a family everyone chips in. The players pay a fee to play on the team, the Enforcer Girls sell their annual swimsuit calendar, the team hosts an annual golf tournament in May. On game days they sell Enforcer merchandise, concessions, and hold a 50/50 raffle. They also rely on corporate sponsors throughout the country. Since every player, coach, board member, EG, and support staff is a volunteer, every dollar raised supports team logistics and ultimately goes back to the charities they support.
The Enforcers kick off their season with a home game on Saturday, February 24 against the Bakersfield Falcons and a few weeks later they host the Camp Pendleton Marines in the annual “Salute to Service” game on March 17. The Enforcers are an experienced team with large players and they will look for redemption against their formidable opponents who are younger and faster. The stands will be packed for this game which will be held at the Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad. During halftime, WWII veterans will be honored for their service and proceeds from this game will benefit Honor Flight San Diego and pay for WWII veterans to make the trip to Washington, D.C.
This season the Enforcers will play four home games and two away games. Tickets can be purchased at the gate and are just $10 (active duty and veterans receive a discount). To learn more about the San Diego Enforcers, to volunteer with the organization or at a game, to become a sponsor, or donate to the team, go to: www.sandiegoenforcers.com. You can also find the San Diego Enforcers and the Enforcer Girls on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Come out this season and support the best football team in San Diego!