Oakland Panthers Indoor Pro Football Team Holds Tryout

Former NFL star Marshawn Lynch, an Oakland native, is co-owner of the expansion Indoor Football League team

The Raiders may be leaving Oakland, but that doesn’t mean football is going away.

The Oakland Panthers is a new Indoor Football League team co-owned by Oakland native Marshawn Lynch. The team's first tryouts took place Sunday.

Football players suited up and gave it their best shot. Josh Hampton drove in from Chicago.

"I love football, and I love playing the sport. It’s a passion of mine," Hampton said.

Hampton joined nearly 200 other hopefuls at Oakland Tech High School for a shot to make it on the Panthers roster.

"It's one of the two expansion franchises in the Indoor Professional Football League," said Kurt Bryan, head coach of the Oakland Panthers. "The IFL is now entering its 12th straight season."

Lynch, a former Oakland Raider, also attended the tryout at Oakland Tech, where he played in high school. He co-founded the team and said previously in a statement he’s excited "The Town" will get another team to call its own.

Lynch's brother, Davonte Sapp-Lynch, played in the IFL.

"I would say keeping professional football in Oakland is probably the best part," Sapp-Lynch said. "The fans and the people of Oakland really deserve that, and with the Warriors and Raiders leaving."

The Panthers will play at the Warriors' former home, now called the Oakland Arena, in spring 2020.

In the past 11 years, 85 IFL players have made it to the NFL or the Canadian Football League, Bryan said.

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