Monticello flag football league aligns with NFL Flag

Kegan Arduser (left) and Jacob Oswald of Monticello Parks and Recreation hold up the NFL Flag jerseys kids in grades 3-4 will wear during the upcoming flag football season. (Photo by Pete Temple)
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

   There are a number of reasons the Monticello Parks and Recreation Department decided to become an affiliate of NFL Flag with one of its annual flag football leagues. But the biggest one might be this:

   It’s cool.

   When Monticello’s four teams in its league for grades 3-4 begin play Sept. 12, the players will be wearing NFL replica jerseys provided by NFL Flag, a nationwide flag football organization.

   The jerseys represent the four teams in the NFC North Division: Bears, Lions, Packers and Vikings.

   “I would wear that thing all over the place,” parks and rec director Jacob Oswald said. “I think it’s just a cool thing, and the more exposure it gets, the more we’ll see the number (of participants) increase in future years.”

   Parks and rec superintendent Kegan Arduser, oversaw the ordering of the jerseys.

   “We saw something advertised for it and figured it would be a good thing for the kids, to try to get more kids out,” Arduser said. “Hopefully somebody wears it to school, and other kids are thinking it’s cool and are wanting to get involved with it.”

   The NFL also sent official flags for the kids to wear – a “tackle” is made when a defender pulls the flag off the belt of a ballcarrier. The league also sent official footballs for use in the games.

   Monticello’s league, like hundreds across the country, is listed at, the organization’s official website.

   “The NFL puts it on their website that we have an official league,” Arduser said. “It’s cool to see it on there.”

   In addition, since Subway is a big sponsor for NFL Flag across the country, players will receive coupons and discounts. They will also receive a discount code to the NFL shop for merchandise.

   Depicting NFL teams is just one of the ways Monticello Parks and Rec tries to draw interest based on real-life teams. The grade 1-2 football league has t-shirts depicting the color of college teams.

   Similarly, the fall volleyball leagues’ t-shirts represent college teams for grades 3-4, and international teams for grades 5-6.

   The spring soccer leagues depict Major League Soccer, Champions League and World Cup teams.

   “We’re just trying to think of different creative ways to get kids interested in that sport,” Oswald said. “They become a little more invested, more of a fan.”

   The grade 3-4 flag football teams will play one another for the first three weeks, and then play teams from Anamosa and Cascade to round out a five-game schedule.

   Registration is closed for this season, but Oswald said he is optimistic numbers will increase in future years.

   “I think this (the NFL jerseys) will really spike it, not only for us, but in the area as well,” he said.



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