Cougars bring back flag football league

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Combine Friday Night Lights with Under Armor and you get the new Chatham-Kent Cougars flag football league.

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Combine Friday Night Lights with Under Armor and you get the new Chatham-Kent Cougars flag football league.

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The Cougars are offering flag football for the first time in a decade after being approached by sports equipment and apparel company Under Armour.

Under the Lights Flag football games are scheduled for Fridays in May and June at the Chatham-Kent Community Sports Complex.

“The flag was exciting when we had it,” Cougars president Sel Jordan said. “We had a good number of people who were involved. … It was great for our organization. It certainly helped us grow.

“We’re looking to bring back that kind of excitement. I think it will be good for the community.

The Cougars want to offer five divisions – K-2, and 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10 – if enough players register.

Under Armor will provide each player with an NFL or CFL team name jersey and shorts. The company will also supply soccer balls, flags and field markers.

“They really take it very seriously and they make the kids feel like professionals,” Jordan said.

The Cougars were eager to relaunch their flag program after being called up by Under Armour.

“We saw it as a good opportunity,” Jordan said. “We have a number of people who like to play contact, but there are a number of families who like football, like sports, but don’t want to be involved in contact. We thought it would be a good way to grow our club.

The Cougars also offer four travel teams (peewee, bantam, varsity junior and varsity) in the summer and a house minor league in the fall.

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Girls play in these programs, but flag football provides a chance for others to participate, Jordan said. He hopes some players who sign up for the flag will also stick around.

Tackle football usually starts in 4th grade, so the addition of flag football will allow younger players to get involved, he said.

“It can give them some football exposure and then they could choose to continue playing flag or maybe go the tackling route,” Jordan said.

The field will be divided into thirds so that three matches are played at a time.

The Cougars will hold a flag football clinic Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Chatham-Kent High School for boys and girls in kindergarten through 10. They will be divided into groups according to their age, size and ability. No equipment is required.

The $10 clinic fee can be sent by e-transfer to chathamkentcougarsfootballclub@gmail.com. The player’s name, date of birth, phone number, email address and home address must be included.

Players can register for the league at Sunday’s clinic or online at chatham-kentcougars.com or uaflag.com.

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