After three years without a sports program, Premont Independent School District has created a football team for seventh and eighth graders for this school year.

Premont ISD Coach Ruben Cantu said he starting organizing the team with the school district after he was confronted by a concerned parent.

"I wanted to bring football back for the kids," Cantu said. "They are under some tough rules, but they really want to play."

PISD Superintendent Eric Ramos said the district created a contract for students and parents to follow in order for students to play on the team.

"We don't want the students to lose focus on academics," Ramos said.  

At a school board meeting in March, Ramos announced the accreditation status of PISD reached probation again. The district was also on probation in 2010.

"We have met every standard except for attendance and academics," he said. "We believe this would be a good way to get additional help with bringing those areas up to par."

The football contract includes a third week passing policy, mandatory attendance in the classroom, daily tutoring attendance, discipline and parent involvement.

"Athletics is an excellent program for students. It instills discipline," Ramos said.

20 students are already signed on with the contract and will start practicing next week.

The team, consisting of seventh and eighth graders, will play five to six games with other teams in the surrounding areas.

Since football has not been in the school board's budget, the parents of the students are fundraising to pay for the funding of the program.

Premont resident Annalisa LaFuente, said she was considering a decision to move her family out of her hometown because there wasn't a sports program.

"I want my boys to be cowboys like the other men in our family have been," LaFuente said.

Her 10-year-old son is not in the program yet, but he is in the youth program which she is heavily involved in.

"Many students and families have left since they removed the program. We have lost good students because of this, but that doesn't have to continue. We want to bring life back to this little town."

The parents still need about around $9,000 to make the program a reality. They are asking the community to help with raising the money to allow the students to play.

"Our stadium is not up to par and we need gear for the kids," LaFuente said. "This town has come together in an awesome way. We just need help getting it back to the way it was."

To donate to the team, visit http://www.gofundme.com/p223kh83.