Snohomish boys' flag football team to play at
The U12s won at regionals. From left to right: Back row: Assistant Coach Brian McKinney, Matt Kowalski, Kason Swanson, Alex Yamada, Coach Kelven May Front: Jackson Dammann, Parker May, Cooper Thompson, Wyatt McKinney.
SNOHOMISH — The boys of Snohomish's U12 flag football team are making a return trip to Las Vegas.
They clinched a spot into the upcoming national tournament by reigning supreme at regionals held in Los Angeles in November.
They're ready for the next challenge and are looking to come away smiling.
The U12s are a group of middle schoolers on a team sanctioned through the Snohomish Boys & Girls Club. They competed in 2022's NFL FLAG Pro Bowl and didn't know what to expect. The
level of competition was “eye-opening,” head coach Kelven May said, but the team came away feeling they can get to that level.
The team practices on Friday evenings to keep up conditioning and get back in the groove, May said.
The team has cohesion and consistency. A majority of its players are multi-sport athletes, May said. When they’re older they will attend Snohomish, Glacier Peak and North Creek high schools.
“When you show up, there’s something about flag football for these guys” that makes the game likable, May said, and maybe a little less bone-jarring.
Players grab flags off the waist of the opponent with the ball instead of tackling them to the ground. It’s a way to play football with much less injury risk, May said.
May is the team’s head coach and offensive coordinator. His friend Brian McKinney is the defensive coordinator. They’re longtime buddies who are volunteering their time through the Boys & Girls Club.
Parents are a big part. May feels blessed with having a cohesive group of athletes and parents.
The team is raising money to help defray the cost of traveling to the tournament on families. You can contribute to a GoFundMe at https://gofund.me/c7fb35f5 or stop by the club at 402 2nd St., Snohomish, to ask to help.
As of last week, the team was one-fourth of reaching its fundraising goal of $8,000.
“This is the last year we are able to compete in a recreational division for NFL Flag, so the next couple years we will be competing in the 14U division against some really high level select teams” from across the U.S., May said.
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