Flag football fields colorful characters, competition Image and video hosting by TinyPic

by Blake Seitz

Sports Editor

video by Cate McMinn

Residents of the Lone Star State know all about high school football, with its Friday night lights, cheerleaders and marching bands. But what about the high school football on Saturday mornings?

No, it’s not playoffs—it’s intramural flag football.

The rules are simple. Two halves of fifteen minutes each; a pulled flag or a push out of bounds is a tackle. The obvious rule: score as much as you can.

This is only the second year that flag football has been fielded as part of Coppell’s intramural program, but already the competition and rivalries are heating up.

Perhaps the most colorful team in the league is The U, so named for the 1980’s University of Miami team popularized by their conduct (most would say misconduct) on and off the field. The Miami team had two goals: to win games and enjoy themselves.

Coppell’s team—which channels ‘U’ energy by wearing Miami spirit wear—has similar motives.

“[Miami] dominated teams and had fun doing so,” senior Kevin Rutledge, a member of The U, said. “We’re 3-1 currently, so it’s not complete domination, but we are having fun.”

The U has fun through end zone celebrations, among other things. The informality of intramural sports allows teams to get away with displays that wouldn’t be tolerated in UIL football.

“My personal favorite is when the whole team gives the runner high fives while he’s still 30 yards from the end zone during a td run,” Rutledge said.

As devil-may-care as it sounds, competition is often fierce. The U is one of the stronger teams in the league, although it has been beaten by Deep Blue, another powerhouse.

Still, there are teams out there who are in it more for the social aspect than for the competition. One such team is the Night Jobs, with a 0-4 record. Although they have little chance of coming back and earning a playoff berth, they show up every week to enjoy themselves on the gridiron with their friends.

“I’m pretty competitive, but really I’m having a lot more fun being with my friends rather than winning,” senior David Dreier, a Night Jobs player, said. “Plus we haven’t exactly won a game yet.”

Senior Scott Bower, another member of the Night Jobs, qualifies.

“I think it’s a good mixture of both fun and competition,” Bower said. “When we’re on the playing field, we definitely give it 100%, but off the field it’s just about having fun.”

So, while the hyper-competitive teams draw up plays and formations, most teams—like the Night Jobs—go out onto the field and ad-lib their way through the game.

“We occasionally draft a quick play during timeouts, but most of the time it’s kind of a free for all,” Bower said.

Part of flag football’s beauty, though, is its backyard element; where friends can get together, form teams with crazy names and go head-to-head, athlete to athlete.

It is a successful formula that will keep bringing in students for many years to come.