Sports Keeping Metro Teens off the Streets


Sunday, January 11th 2009, 11:04 pm
By: News 9


By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City police are doing everything they can to keep young people from a life of crime and violence. The Police Athletic League is turning kids onto sports to knock out the problem early.

"I'd probably be getting into trouble right now and be on the streets, getting into fights," Alex Saucedo said.

These days, the only fights 14-year-old Alex Saucedo gets into are in the ring and this teen can pack a punch. He's training most of the time, and when he's not hitting the bags, he's hitting the books.

It's a passion that's kept him alive and off the streets since he was 9-years-old.

"It's a big problem in our community. It's a big problem everywhere, but we're honest about it. We're vocal about it," Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said.

It's all part of the Police Athletic League, known as PAL. The league has 3,000 kids involved with sports, from soccer and tennis to karate. But to continue to keep metro kids off the streets, they need money to support the program.

"We get involved in this kid's life early, it's very cheap to save that kids life and save society a lot of money as well," Prater said. "And if we don't, it's really going to cost us."

It's a constant fight inside and out, but it's made Saucedo a winner and a National PAL silver medalist in the ring.

"It keeps me out of trouble. I got better grades in school now," Saucedo said. "I got a better future. I got something to do now."

Alex is training in hopes of getting into the Olympics in 2012 and planning to go pro.

To help support PAL, check out their Oklahoma City Charity Fight Night on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009. You can meet their celebrity host, Sugar Ray Leonard, a legendary boxing icon, and legendary boxer, Sean O'Grady will be the special guest Emcee.

For more information, visit www.okcfightnight.com.