By Stacy Case
Aside from NFL games, with our local youths taking to the city football fields, area parents spend plenty of time watching their favorite players at the community’s neighborhood parks. On any given game day, fans are filling up bleachers and lining the sidelines to cheer for the Coral Springs Flag Football Club at Mullins Park and for the Parkland Flag Football League at Pine Trails Park. Both programs offer their a wide range of gridiron opportunities for players interested in some top-notch recreational flag football. This has been the case for years. The 2019 season continues in the same successful vein.
For Coral Springs, after about 50 years in existence, President Mike Gorelick is still pleased by his club’s turnout from one season to the next. In fact, they had about 220 players this Fall season, which remains as an 11-on-11 format, spanning all divisions of freshmen (ages 7-9), juniors (ages 10/11) and seniors (ages 12-14). Mike looks to use his Fall’s success as a springboard for future seasons yet again. The city will soon be entering its third year of 8-on-8 Xtreme Flag Football of Coral Springs, which starts in March. It focuses more on the skills of running, passing and catching the ball. The age divisions for Xtreme are similar to those in the Fall, with some slight modifications. (freshmen: ages 6-8, juniors: ages 9-11, seniors: ages 12 -14, and the newer group of varsity: ages 15-17). At the end of each league’s regular season, teams participate in double elimination playoffs, which include a Super Bowl, as well as an all-star game for each respective division. “Everybody knows everybody and we, as a board, try to make that family type connection. It should always be about the players; not the parents, coaches, or refs,” says Mike of both the Fall and Spring programs.
Parkland has its own contingent of dedicated players who help with that program’s longevity. It’s no surprise that its players have come back year after year for about two decades already, as President Joe Kohn says his 8-on-8 league’s sport yields quite a few valuable lifelong concepts. “Football, probably more than any other sport, teaches kids how to rely on one another, and they learn to appreciate both winning and losing together,” says Joe, who is in his seventh year on Parkland Flag’s Board of Directors. Joe and his league are hosting more than 760 athletes this season amongst both the co-ed (ages 6/7, 8/9, 10/11, 12/13 and high school) and girls-only divisions (ages 7-9, 10/11, 12-14). This year, Parkland instituted a high school level division, as there was a strong interest to continue to play from those who aged out of the traditional age brackets.Once all divisions have completed their regular season games, they also face double elimination playoffs and Super Bowl games.
“Football is something that can help these kids all around,” continues Joe about his league that is always looking for more dedicated board members. “It’s just one of those sports where players are forced to trust their teammates to do their job in order to achieve that common goal.”
Both Coral Springs and Parkland wrap up their seasons before Thanksgiving.
To register for Xtreme Flag Football of Coral Springs, visit www.csffc.org