I am a father of three children (two boys, ages 12 & 8, and a girl, age 4). My older son, Dylan, especially loves football and basketball. My younger son, Hayden, loves football and basketball too, as he generally goes with whatever sports Dylan plays, but he discovered a great liking for lacrosse last spring. So as the winter sports began wrapping up, and spring sports sign-ups were coming home from school, my wife Dara and I asked the two boys what they wanted to play this spring. Hayden right away said lacrosse, while Dylan wasn't so sure about it. He said he enjoyed lacrosse last year, but isn't exactly looking forward to another season of it. He said maybe he will just take the season off. Afterall, he played on two football teams in the fall and three basketball teams in the winter, so maybe he will take a break for spring.
Then he asked why there isn't a spring football league. I said I will check around to see if there is any kind of spring football league around, and found an indoor flag football league in Saint James – at The Sports Arena (www.thesportsarena.net). I asked Dylan if we can get a few kids together to form a team, would he want to sign up for it. He was so excited! So we got 10 kids together and signed up as a team. This indoor Sports Arena league starts in mid-March and will run for around 10 weeks.
But then I thought to myself, why are driving all the way to Saint James and paying The Sports Arena, a for-profit organization, money and to play football, when our community's own non-profit football league could very well set up something similar (though it would have to be outdoors) that can be both fun and beneficial to the current and future football players in our area. So I reached out to one of the founding members of Comsewogue Youth Football (www.comsewogueyouthfootball.com) – Chrissy Ventura. I brought up the subject to her, and after much deliberation, we came up with the idea for the Comsewogue Youth Football Spring NFL Flag league that will run from mid-May to July.
We were not quite sure which day of the weekend to schedule the games on, as we were trying to not be in conflict with all the other sports going on in the spring. In the end, we thought Saturday afternoons made the most sense for several reasons. Terryville Soccer games are played Saturday mornings, though locally, while P.A.L. lacrosse games are usually on Sundays but the teams must travel all over the county. That left Saturday afternoons for us. While there are baseball games going on Saturday afternoons, we thought it would be the least conflicting. Kids who play non-travel baseball in our community play their games locally so they may be able to make it to football.
Also I personally felt there are some parents who seemingly sign up their kids for baseball only because it is a traditional sport to sign up for in the spring even though their kids may not totally enjoy it. So if they see that spring football is available, perhaps they will go for football instead of baseball.
So we are starting this spring flag football league to help further develop our overall football program at Comsewogue. All over the country, football is becoming more and more a year-round sport. Youth teams practice at indoor fields during the winter and participate in 7-on-7 drills and tournaments throughout the spring and summer (not to mention lots of conditioning sessions in between!). So when July comes around, they are fully prepared to begin the season physically and mentally.
With spring flag football, our goal is for the players who already play tackle football to become better at running routes; better at understanding pass coverages; better at pursuit angles; improve their ability to read offenses and defenses; and become better team players. And for players who have not played tackle football previously for whatever reasons, we hope they will learn the basics of the running and passing games and come to enjoy it so much that they will want to play tackle football in the fall and will be able to go into playing tackle football with confidence that they would not have had, if they had not played flag football.
Although the Comsewogue Youth Football Spring NFL Flag league is a Comsewogue based league, we welcome neighboring school districts and P.A.L. leagues to send their teams over. Each team coming over can sign up as an individual team and compete against each other and our individual Comsewogue teams. We can all benefit with the competition.
I am writing this long-winded blog to hopefully heighten awareness of our upcoming first spring football season. I believe that with this league, we will be able to help prepare the area youth to becoming better football players and offer them an alternative activity to participate in for the spring.
A flyer is available for download at www.comsewogueyouthfootball.com or directly here: http://www.eteamz.com/comsewogueyouthfootball/files/CYFSPRINGFLAGFLYERFINAL.pdf