SPRING HILL — There hasn’t been much excitement behind annual youth flag football seasons, but one league is starting to create a seasonal buzz.
When Hernando County parents think of a flag football league to place their son or daughter in, the Spring Hill NFL Flag Football League has started to come immediately to mind.
The league has taken the county by storm the past few years as many youth football players transition from tackle to the flag football game. The ability to hone players’ strengths in catching, running and throwing the ball has helped immensely in the development of youth football players throughout the county.
The growth of the league has been exponential, with Spring Hill NFL Flag Football league commissioner Andrew Sitar stating that over 500 players have participated in the league’s most recent spring season that took place at Veterans Memorial Park off Spring Hill Drive.
With music blaring, a food truck serving up Icees and a makeshift concession stand area, the games provide fun environment for kids and families on Saturdays.
“The league has grown so much,” Sitar said. “We have over 500 players and over 48 teams and coaches. We start out at age 4 all the way to age 14. It really has been all about player experience. The league has really grown because of the word of mouth by all the parents and players in the league.”
Sitar also pointed out the ever-growing number of girls who are joining flag teams in the league, which is helping to start the conversation for a girls flag football team in the high school ranks.
The Florida High School Athletic Association sanctions flag football during the winter months, with state champions being named. The hope is the continued interest into flag football by girls will help get a high school to start up a flag program.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.