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Sports archive for August 30, 2013

Organizers hope fall tournament revives flag football

Local gridiron fans are hoping an upcoming fall tournament helps revive interest in the defunct Whitehorse Flag Football League.


Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

COMEBACK TRAIL – Chad Curlew is pursued by Matt Thompson during a pick-up football game Wednesday.

Local gridiron fans are hoping an upcoming fall tournament helps revive interest in the defunct Whitehorse Flag Football League.

Michael Tuton and Matthew Kremer are the organizing minds behind the upcoming Ridge Pub Fall Classic, set for Sept. 12 to 14.

The men’s flag football tournament is expected to be a weekend of fun, with games slated for Thursday and Friday nights, before Saturday’s playoff and the big finish at the Ridge Pub.

Games are expected to take place at the fields behind Vanier Catholic Secondary School.

“We’ve been talking about this for years and years,” Tuton told the Star after a pick-up football game held Wednesday night at Elijah Smith Elementary School.

“Flag football is something we’ve been trying to revive for a long time. It used to be the funnest thing you could do for $5.”

Players require cleats. On the field, competitors wear a belt with two flags, which end the down when removed.

Tournament games will consist of two 30-minute halves, with a three-steamboat count on quarterbacks and a 20-yard requirement for first down.

Kremer said he hopes the tournament will help locals recall how fun football can be.

“It used to be one of the funner leagues in this town,” he said. “It kind of fell inbetween the ball and hockey seasons, which is a bit of a down time. Everyone really enjoyed it.

“We’ve been mulling it over for quite a while and we thought this was a great opportunity to have a tournament and see what’s out there as far as people’s interest.”

Kremer said if interest is high enough, there is talk of reigniting the flag football league. During the league’s heyday, teams would hit the field twice a week in September, with two tournaments – the midseason KK Bowl and the end-of-year Snow Bowl on the Thanksgiving weekend in mid-October.

Scott Kent used to co-ordinate the Whitehorse Flag Football League during the late ‘90s. The league folded shortly after Kent entered territorial politics in 2000.

The current Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, Kent said he was the president of the league for a handful of years.

“I think the league probably started in the ‘80s,” he said. “There was about six teams in the league.”

He said the league dropped down to four teams and eventually folded in 2002.

Kent said he has rummaged through a few of his friends’ basements looking for old trophies and flags to help out the tournament, and said he would like to see the league return to the local sports scene.

“There seems to be quite a few young guys kicking around now working in construction … our league was very much a blue-collar league, and there’s a lot of guys back doing that stuff now,” he said.

“I think that they’d be successful if they gave it another go and I’d be happy to help out.”

Interested players or teams can contact Tuton through email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or find information at the Whitehorse Football Fall Classic group on Facebook.

Organizers are looking for teams of around 12 to 15, with eight players on the field at a time. Cost per team is $200.

Interested individuals will try to be accommodated and placed on existing teams.

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