Flag football league appears successful

Will Zimmerman of Monticello (front) makes an interception in a grade 3-4 flag football game against Cascade Oct. 18 at Dean Nelson Field. The game was part of the reconfigured Jones County Flag Football League, which includes teams from Monticello, Cascade and Anamosa. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Monticello’s Braydon Cigrand sets to throw a pass in a flag football game Oct. 18.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     The new Jones County Flag Football League ended its first season Oct. 25, and early indications show that it has been a success.

     “We will be sending out a survey to the families once the season is done to make sure all voices are heard, but what we’ve heard so far is that the kids are having a blast, which is our top priority,” Monticello Parks and Recreation director Jacob Oswald said.

     The league, for boys and girls in grades 3-4, is similar to past flag football leagues in Monticello, with a significant exception: teams are from other communities are involved as well. This year’s league has had four teams from Monticello, four from Anamosa and one from Cascade.

     “We wanted to find a way to provide more opportunities for the kids to play games,” Oswald said. “We chose to use flag football as a trial run for a county/regional approach.”

     The goal was to form a multi-city league in 2020, but COVID-19 forced organizers to reconsider and stay within their own communities.

     Monticello teams played five games this season, three against other Monticello teams and one each against a Cascade and Anamosa team.

     “The goal was to only have to travel once,” Oswald said, “so in our case, our teams traveled to play Anamosa, and Cascade traveled here. Anamosa then traveled to Cascade.”

     Cascade had been playing tackle football in grades 3-4 and was wanting to make the change, Oswald said, due to player safety.

     In Monticello, games were officiated by Panther football players Tate Petersen, Eian Weber and Preston Ries.

     “The kids really look up to the high-schoolers, so we love when they are willing and able to be involved in our programs,” Oswald said.

     He added that organizers are hoping to expand this model.

     “Our goal is to expand it into our other team sports while not having to travel more than 15 or 20 minutes away from home on a school night,” he said, “to make sure the kids are getting the best possible experience they can.”



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