By Stacy Case
The Coral Springs Flag Football Club has certainly stood the test of time, and continues to draw in hundreds of youth gridders from one season to the next. For the 1972-established program, the games begin in late August and with playoff schedules, the season lasts until about the early part of November.
But this year will be anything other than ‘just another season at the park’ for all participants. This time, the league decided to kick-off the games with a first-ever Jamboree.
“We’re just trying to make some changes and make a few things even better for the kids to have fun out there,” says Mike Gorelick, who is in his 6th year on CSFFC Board of Directors and is president now. “We hope to have a smooth season and that the league prospers going forward.”
From food trucks and raffle prizes to scrimmages and a rock climbing wall, a good time was had by all Jamboree goers. “We wanted to set ourselves apart from other traditional flag football programs in the area,” says Colin Thomas, who takes on the role of CSFFC’s secretary and webmaster for the 2017 season. “We didn’t want to just see the kids register, play their games and go home, so it was a little something nice we thought we’d put together for everybody in our league to enjoy.”
The Jamboree was certainly intended to be a casual, family-fun day, but it was also the time to iron out any wrinkles before games got underway. In that way, each team had a scheduled scrimmage for about 30 minutes so they could do a dry run of their plays. Some of the newer officials had an opportunity to take charge in their stripes and parents got to watch their kids’ season begin! “It was really just a good time for all involved,” Colin adds. “It was a great chance for everyone to get into that game setting too.”
This season, nearly 300 players have been assigned to one of the CSFFC teams. Staying true to form over the years, the league still has its three divisions: freshmen (6 teams, ages 7-9), juniors (9 teams, ages 10-11) and seniors (6 teams, ages 12-14). Both the juniors and seniors play on 100-yard fields while the freshmen field spans 80 yards. Regardless of the division, however, each team has a 14-game regular schedule followed by a double elimination post season. Then, each division not only has its own Super Bowl, but they also recognize the outstanding players in an all star game. Teams, which follow the NFL names, are limited to no more than 4-and-a-half hours per week on the field, for good reason. All games and practices are held at Mullins Park, and consist of 4, 12-minute quarters.
“We know the kids enjoy playing/practicing but we want to be sure to leave ample time for other commitments they may have, such as school or other activities/sports they may take part in,” says Colin, who is joined by 9 other board members.
“But more than anything, we are a no-nonsense, zero tolerance league not only for our players but for the officials and fans too.”