MRA shows flag football is not just for kids

MANISTEE — With fall comes cooler temperatures, changing leaves and apple cider.

Oh yeah — and football. Lots and lots of football.

Many of us are able to look back with fondness upon the days of our youth spent playing flag football in the fall. Running, throwing, juking and catching all in the name of competition and fun. As we transitioned out of adolescence our flag football careers came to a close.

Now, thanks to the Manistee Recreation Association, adults are able to don the flags once again and make new memories out on the gridiron.

“We’ve been trying to get some more adult things going on — more rec programs for adults,” said MRA director Kenny Kott. “This is one thing that we heard a lot of interest about so we decided to give it a shot this fall.”

Teams of up to 10 are able to play five-on-five flag football Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. under the lights at the First Street Beach softball fields. Four teams have signed up and the first games were played Sept. 19, meaning the six-week regular season is well underway.

“It’s been going really well so far,” Kott said. “The first three weeks have been a lot of fun, actually.”

The program is open to those 18 and older who are no longer in high school. Players have playoffs to look forward to upon the completion of the regular season.

“It’s about an hour each game,” Kott said. “There’s a six-week regular season and then a two-week playoff tournament and then they’ll wrap up Nov. 7, so it might be a little chilly down there.”

The MRA sees to it that player safety is a top priority so people can expect to play competitive football while enjoying themselves and facing a minimal threat of injury. All the players have been having a great time thus far.

“It’s five-on-five and it’s designed all the way through so there’s almost no contact whatsoever,” Kott said. “Obviously, there’s incidental contact here and there, but we don’t want guys getting hurt or anything like that. It’s been going really well. We’ve had a lot of guys thanking us that we’ve started it. I think everybody’s kind of on the same page to keep the safety aspect of it up. That’s been going pretty good so far.”

Perhaps the success of the adult flag football program will lead to more adult-oriented recreational activities for those in the area.

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