Football provides fun Friday afternoons and competitive games

Every Friday night in the fall, Westminster students, teachers, and parents gather to support the varsity football team. However, with games starting early at night, many must find something to do in the free time between school and kick off. For many of the senior boys, that activity is flag football.

Senior flag football has been an inconsistent tradition for many years. Some classes never have a flag football league, while some do. After the class of 2016 failed to continue the tradition, two seniors from the class of 2017 brought flag football back in full force.

Class of 2017 seniors Danny Adkins and Watson Jackson came up with the idea after finding nothing to do after school on Football Fridays.

“I think Adkins and Jackson just thought about how nobody had anything to do on Friday

afternoons before varsity played on Friday nights, so they got the idea to play flag football with everyone,” said senior Bennet Speed.

Inspired by Adkins’ and Jacksons’ initiative, Speed and fellow senior Brendan Dolan volunteered to run the league as “commissioners.”

“I decided to become a commissioner because I had seen how much fun the senior guys had last year, so I wanted to make sure that our grade could have the same experience,” said Dolan.

“I chose to become a commissioner because I wanted to make sure the league would be created,” said Speed.

However, not knowing where to begin, Dolan and Speed contacted 2017’s commissioners, Adkins and Jackson for some advice. After discussing how to actually create a structured flag football league, Dolan and Speed were ready to finally carry on the tradition.

First, Dolan and Speed selected eight captains: seniors Henry Alford, Jack Balloun, Ryan Cha, John Fraser Davis, Brendan Dolan, Zach Hay, Drew Lingle, and Langdon Wheeler. Those eight captains then selected their teams for the season in a draft on Aug. 15.

Following the draft, the regular season games started. Dolan and Speed created a detailed schedule for the season, with one game occurring every Friday at 3:00. On these Fridays, two teams head to the back fields immediately after school, setting up cones to create a field about 20 meters wide and 10 meters long.

In order to keep the quick pace of the game flowing, a lineman stands on the sidelines with an extra football to keep the quick pace of the game going. In addition, Speed and Dolan are at every game to keep track of the score, acting as the referees. Once a game is completed, the result is recorded in the official standings for everyone in the league to see.

Although the games may seem friendly at first glance, there is no lack of competition.

“The games are fun but exhausting,” said senior Brock Galyardt said. “They definitely get pretty intense sometimes.” Senior Jackson Alexander echoed Galyardt’s sentiment.

“It always felt good to win,” said Alexander. “In the regular season, we beat Ryan Miller’s team, which was considered the best team, which was awesome. We only lost one game and it felt awful.”

After nearly two and a half months of regular season games, each team was seeded based on their record and the playoffs began, with teams Dolan, Wheeler, and Fraser as the top seeds.

The playoffs were incredibly competitive and the teams each turned the intensity up to another level, but in the team Wheeler took home the flag football championship. With this year’s flag football league finished, the juniors look to start their own league next year.