By Stacy Case
Although Spring has sprung, that does not mean that Fall sports are not in the forefront of locals’ minds. In fact, the 15 board members of the Parkland Flag Football League prepare year round, and are in the midst of their pre season plans for their upcoming season. From designing uniforms and aligning divisions accordingly, to game scheduling and putting the finishing touches on the new turf fields (going to be three this year), the league volunteers do not take an off-season.
With more than 1,000 area youths having taken to the league’s home field of Pine Trails Park last Fall, Matt Kaufman is optimistic that his program’s 2022 season will recruit even more players.
He credits that to several different reasons and compliments his program’s qualities. “We have a true communal, family environment, and everyone creates
memories each time they’re at the field,” says Matt, who is in his third year as the Parkland Flag Football League president.
Aside from the feel-good atmosphere that Matt’s program yields, he also breaks down some of the more specific take-aways from the game as a whole.
“Youth sports in general, can teach life lessons; they learn teamwork, how to take direction, deal with disappointment, handle success, develop confidence and learn how to compete,” Matt adds, about the league in which his own son participates. “Building social skills and learning how to speak up changes the way they interact with others off the field. Makes them more comfortable in their own skin.”
And perhaps such the environment in which Matt and Company continue to provide since the league’s inception a couple of decades ago is reason enough as to why the Parkland Flag Football player retention is so high.
“We would love to retain 100 percent of the families and only lose the players who age out of the program,” Matt adds. “We continue to grow as more and more people keep moving to the area, and these kids truly have a great time with their friends.”
All of the aforementioned ‘life’ skills are consistently offered by Parkland Flag for both boys and girls from as young as kindergarten all the way through high school years.
This past season, and according to Matt, the 2022 season will once again offer the following age divisions: girls (K, age 7-9, age 10 and 11, age 12-14, and high school); boys (K, age 6 and 7, age 8 and 9, age 10 and 11, age 12 and 13, high school). They always need coaches. This is a chance for parents to get involved with the kids.
Each age division has its own player evaluation, draft and Super Bowl. Additionally, each team meets up two to three times each week for a combination of games and practices. Evaluations will be the week of August 15th. Practice begins the week of August 22nd. The regular season starts after Labor Day and ends the first week of November.
Registration for the 2022 season is currently open and is scheduled to close the first week of August. Sign up early. Do not wait until August. If the demand is what Matt expects, they may have to cap the number of players.
For more info, please visit Parklandflag.com