Clinton YMCA flag football  finale declared a success

Courtesy of Edvydas Cicenas — Jack Nichols of the YMCA’s Bears flag football team tries to evade having his flag pulled by a defender from the Decatur team.

CLINTON — Another season of Clinton YMCA flag football is in the books, as both of this year’s teams wrapped up with a season finale against the Decatur Youth Football League on Sept. 7.

The Blue team, coached by Sam Nichols, fought hard and played well, according to YMCA Youth Sports Director David Torbert.

“They played a great game against a more competitive team,” Torbert said. “Our YMCA program is about introducing players to the fundamentals of the sport, but we have a lot of great, natural talent to work with, which is exciting. You really get to see that development throughout the season. Sam did an awesome job with his team in molding them on both sides of the football.”

All total, this year’s Y’s flag football program saw 25 participants sign up, but Torbert remains hopeful for future years to see positive participation growth.

“We are competing with so many other activities now available to kids, so it’s difficult to stand out, but through these future collaborations and other planned activities, we hope to play a foundational role in player development,” Torbert said. “The YMCA is a great program that teaches kids not only the fundamental skills, but also teaches how to be a great teammate and opponent. We are molding these players for future teams and coaches, and we hope to make a positive impact so they stay active for years to come.”

In the second game in Saturday’s finale, the Green team, coached by Ryan Whitlock, played another great game with big plays on both sides of the ball.

“Ryan did a great job making it a fun season for his team, and I think his players learned a lot,” Torbert said. “By the end of the season, they were making some great plays, especially on defense.”

As always, Clinton YMCA relies on volunteer coaches, and Torbert said he was pleased with this year’s coaches.

“Ryan and Sam are two people I never have to worry if they are teaching players the right way to play the game,” Torbert said. “They understand not only the sport, but how to convey key teaching concepts to these kids. More importantly, they are teaching players that sportsmanship comes before winning.”

Torbert said he looks forward to the upcoming outdoor soccer season, which begins Sept. 18 when teams hold their first practice. Games for all teams begin Saturday, Sept. 21.

LifeBridges Church offers a hotdog ministry, and they were there for the games. They offer this ministry for free, but thanks to the generosity of those in attendance, the ministry raised $236 total; $136 went to YMCA Youth Sports program, and the Y donated $100 back to LifeBridges Church.

For more information on Clinton YMCA Youth Sports programs, call (217)-935-8307.

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