Rain or shine on the gridiron

October 22, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Orangeville Outlaws don’t let a little inclement weather slow them down.

In fact they have had a series of rather dismal weather days for most of their flag football season this year but that doesn’t stop them from playing the game and having some fun.

The regular summer football season was cancelled this year – another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Club executives floated the idea of a fall flag football program and got an overwhelming response from players who wanted to get out on the field and play.

They now run four games every Sunday morning.

Flag football allows for playing the game while still maintaining social distancing on the field.

The players, however, admit they miss the contact of regular football.

“It was fun,” said junior player Tyson McAulay of playing in the rain. Tyson played on the Outlaws peewee team last season. “I like tackle football better. In flag football it’s harder to grab the flag so you can run farther.”

For first year player, Jaxen Wildman, getting out on the field was a big step.

Jaxen wanted to enter the Tyke division this year but when the season was cancelled, he opted to play in the flag league. He went to the try-outs and coaches assigned him to a junior team.

At seven years-old, he’s younger and smaller than most of the juniors, but he plays with a lot of enthusiasm and easily matched the speed of the older players.

“This is my first year,” Jaxen explained. “I really just wanted to play on a team. My dad used to play football so I wanted to play. I like playing. It’s good exercise. The hardest part is trying to get the guy’s flag. You have to run fast.”

Jaxen is looking forward to next season when full tackle football returns.

Jaxen’s dad Jason, himself a former gridiron player, started a search for local football when Jaxen expressed an interest in playing the sport.

New to the area, he did a quick internet search and found the Outlaws.

“There was no flag division for Jaxen’s age group,” Jason explained. “I e-mailed Sue (Ellies, club executive member) and she said to have him come out and we’ll go from there. I found out about the Outlaws when we moved up here just from googling football. When we saw the flag program come up we e-mailed them and they said to come out and the coaches would access him.”

To keep the flag house league football league competitive, coaches assess the players and try to make the teams evenly matched. This allows for more competitive play and more fun for the kids.

The Outlaws have three more weeks left before they wrap up the season.


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