Parkland Flag Football League gains popularity among high school students

The Parkland Dolphins celebrate with their trophies after achieving a victory in the Parkland Flag Football League Super Bowl.

Levi Goffstein

The Parkland Dolphins celebrate with their trophies after achieving a victory in the Parkland Flag Football League Super Bowl.

Levi Goffstein and Noah Lechtenstein

In the past few months, Parkland Flag Football has gained popularity among students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and North Broward Preparatory School. The league features divisions of multiple age groups, with the oldest being the high school division. Additionally, the league offers teams for both boys and girls in the Parkland area.

Flag football is a low-injury sport, so many students are intrigued by the idea of getting physical activity with their friends without risking injuries.

The league’s registration started in June, and the actual league itself started in August. There are around eight players on a team with a total of eight teams in the league. Parkland Flag Football has a regular season and a playoff bracket, with each team holding many practices before the regular season starts. The playoff bracket features 14 playoff games, including the losers and winners of the bracket.

“I think [my team] should definitely win the Super Bowl, but anything can happen in any given football game,” senior Connor Greep said before his team entered the championship.

Throughout the season, games usually took place on Tuesdays or Thursdays at 8 or 9 p.m. With commitment to practices and game taking up time, players have to balance flag football and school at the same time.

“I balance flag football and school by focusing on school before flag football. I make sure to get all my work and studying done before every game, so I do not have to worry about it,” sophomore Jake Shytle said.

The league has become a fun activity for many MSD students. A large part of students’ enjoyment comes from their ability to play football with close friends, while also making new ones throughout the season.

“Playing with friends and making relationships [is my favorite part],” freshman Jared Wolfman said.

When freshmen play in a high school league that consists of all grade-levels, their competitors will have height and other physical advantages.

“[Playing in the league] makes me better and [the different ages] make it more competitive for everyone,” Wolfman said.

The league’s Super Bowl took place on Nov. 7 at 8 p.m with the Broncos and Dolphins competing against each other.

The game was very intriguing since in the first play of the game, the Bears’ quarterback threw an interception to the Dolphins. This led to a rushing touchdown, which the Dolphins would add onto the lead with an extra point conversion. Then, the Bears got the ball back, but were forced to punt, ultimately leading to another Dolphins touchdown.

With only two minutes left in the first half, the Bears got the ball back and threw a touchdown as well as an extra point conversion. The score at halftime was 13-7 with the Dolphins leading. The Dolphins started with the ball as they drove the ball down the field as quarterback Connor Greep rushed for a touchdown; however, he did not get the extra point as the score was kept at 19-7.

The Dolphins forced a turnover on downs and they got the ball back looking to add to their two score lead. Greep rushed for another touchdown as he made the score 25-7. The Bears’ quarterback threw another touchdown and did not get the crucial extra point as the score was set at 25-13.

The Dolphins had the ball on offense while the Bears needed a clutch turnover to get the ball back and keep the game alive. Nevertheless, Greep kept the Bears’ defense on their toes as he threw for a game-winning touchdown.

At the end of the game, the Dolphins were named league champions with a score of 31-13.

In the end, the Parkland Flag Football League was a great way for high school students to have a fun time during the fall months. The students involved were able to learn valuable lessons in teamwork and time management throughout the season.