Vegas Kings: Las Vegas’ best Kept Secret

The Vegas Kings minor league football team is going into its third season.  The Kings, for those who are not familiar with the organization, are part of the Labelle Community Football League.  They play at Desert Pines High School, which becomes “The Kingdom” during games.

The Kings were started by lifetime friends Richard Mapp and Prentice Caesar. Both played football at Chaparral High School.  After high school, Mapp went to play as a Wide Receiver for the UNLV Rebels. 

Afterwards, the friends could not get football out of their system.  The friends then decided to start the Kings. 

The need for the Kings was apparent – Nevada does not have a JUCO system for football.  The Kings allowed their players to keep their dreams alive as they do not get paid and keep their amateur status, allowing them to play College Football if they qualify.   

The target age group for the Kings is 18 – 25, which falls in line with the age group of athletes playing college football.  Some of their athletes have had offers from “big time” colleges, but did not have the grades to qualify. 

The Kings are a professional organization.  They have 9 position coaches.  They started planning this season back in December. All staff and players have to sign statements of compliance. 

Statistics are posted to their website for regular season games by the Monday following the game. 

They are also a family oriented enterprise with ties to the community.  Not only are Prentice and Mapp Las Vegas locals, but everyone involved with the Kings must commit to community affairs.  One such involvement is the work they do with the Boys and Girls Club. 

(For more information on the Kings’ community involvement, please visit their website at www.vegaskingsfootball.com.)

They have a good working relationship with Clark County School District, playing current at Desert Pines High School.  Previously, they played at Valley High School, which is undergoing construction. 

As a family enterprise, the members of the Kings organization wear multiple hats.  As the staff does not receive a salary, they work full-time jobs outside their Kings’ responsibilities.  In some cases, they multi-task between their Kings’ responsibilities, and their outside jobs.

 Jeff Belknap, General Manager, owns Advantage 1 Cleaners.  He keeps the uniforms and practice jersey’s clean, often stopping by practice to pick up the uniforms, then finishing up his deliveries. 

Even though owners of the team, they both played with the team.  Caesar played until last year, and Mapp plays at Wide Receiver and Free Safety.  Caesar is currently attending the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) for pre-med. 

While the Vegas Kings have been a well kept secret, they have their fans. The first pre-season game this year had a paid attendance of 530, with an actual attendance closer to 650. In order to get more people in the seats, they are planning on going door-to-door in the neighborhood surrounding Desert Pines. 

For media, they are currently covered by Gary at The Las Vegas Blogger website (located at www.lasvegasblogger.com) , The Las Vegas Informer, and gamecasts are handled online by Vegas Unwrapped (located at www.vegasunwrapped.wordpresscom)

When asked what fans can expect from coming to a Kings’ game, Bill Miller, Corporate Affairs, said the fans should “expect a good game”. 

According to Miller, the Kings are “a family enterprise, with family values, playing by NFL rules”.

“Come down to the Vegas Kings, it’s not going to get any better”, Miller added. The Kings offer “Minor League Football, Major League Entertainment”. 

The goal of the team this year: is winning the LCFL National Championship Game. 

The Labelle Community Football League (LCFL) is comprised of 20 teams on the West Coast, with a total of 32 teams Nationwide.  It is supported by NFL players, as well as Patti Labelle, who helped in the creation of the league. 

The National Championship game is between the winners of the West Coast and East Coast Conferences. 

For more information on the Vegas Kings, visit www.VegasKingsFootball.com

SCOTT PIPER

The second pre-season game started by reading this e-mail sent by Scott Piper, Linebacker, who is currently serving the US Military overseas in Afghanistan.  He was voted the most inspirational player last year.  He is planning on being back by the 5th regular season game. 

Bill,

 Good to hear from you and thanks for the e-mail.  I am glad to hear the Kings are doing well.  Looks like they might not need me out there if they keep up that hard-nosed Defense.  I am hoping to be back by game 5.  (Mid-September) We’ll see what happens over the next few weeks.  Tell the team I said hello and I can’t wait to get back out there with them.  They shouldn’t have any problems tonight with the Bulls.

Not sure if you heard or not, but last month we lost 5 guys from my unit. They gave their lives in defense of our country.  All I ask, is the Kings say a prayer for their families as they deal with their loss.  It is appreciated.

 Talk to you later,

 Pipe

 Article written by Joe Buda

 

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