By TENAJH SWEETING
THE Bahamas Youth Flag Football League (BYFFL) will host the country’s first high school flag football tournament at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium April 1.
The flag football showdown will kick off at 9:30am until 4pm, featuring teams from St. John’s College, Kingsway Academy, long-time rivals St. Augustine’s College, and Queen’s College.
The inaugural youth flag football event will be held to raise awareness for the sport and to get more students engaged in it in their respective high schools.
With the BYFFL’s exciting high school matchups on pace to take place in less than two weeks, programme director Jayson Clarke talked about the structure of the event.
“We are hosting our first tournament among those four high schools in two divisions, we are using the under 14 division and the 14 and over division which are the two divisions that are actually going to be competing,” Clarke said.
He added that fans can look forward to stiff competition as there will be a total of more than 10 games for the 14 and over division with teams competing from SJC, SAC, QC and KA.
The teams have been practicing since September of last year in preparation for April’s flag football tournament. The high school teams will look to show off their six months of hard work on the field in front of their school student bodies. Although the event is geared towards encouraging friendly competition between schools, organisers intend to use funds raised at the event to purchase adequate flag football equipment so that school’s can integrate the sport into their curriculum.
After six months of training, the programme director gave some insight on what preparation of the high school athletes has been like ahead of April’s event.
Clarke said training has been pretty good as they divided the coaches into the groups of their adoptive schools as most tried to go with their alma mater.
He added that they train with athletes two to three times a week and have been working with them to try and get them trained in their groups by teaching them the game and getting them ready to play.
Fans that wish to see the high school athletes in action can purchase tickets on the day of the event at a cost of $3 at the TAR national stadium.
After being on the scene for six years now, BYFFL will look to continue to make innovative strides after this sporting event by trying to get other private schools involved and to add public schools that are interested to next year’s tournament in efforts to expand and make it more exciting. Fans can expect to see the always exciting rivalry between the Big Red Machine and QC Comets to continue brewing at the tournament.
However, Clarke admits that there might be some underdog action on game day. Students and peers are encouraged to come out and support their peers and children on a day that is expected to be filled with excitement and highly competitive high school flag football matchups. BYFFL’s high school football tournament will be sponsored by Pedialyte, Bahamas Waste and Fidelity Bank.