Football with a Higher Purpose

1 decade 10 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, November 01 2007 Nov 1, 2007 Thursday, November 01, 2007 4:27:00 AM CDT November 01, 2007 in Sports

Columbia has a new league that does things a little differently. There's a new league in town at Little Bonne Femme Baptist Church. The new flag football league is called "Upward." Columbia already has Upward basketball and soccer leagues, but this is the first season for flag football.

"Kids love it for a lot of different reasons," says league coordinator Jamie Hughes. "It's got a lot of good qualities, a lot of things that other local leagues don't have. We like to have fun out here, when a kid scores a touchdown we like to have fun and really announce their name and shoot off some fireworks. They're not pressured to win by their parents or anything like that. They're just out to have a good time."

And to add to the fun, they even have cheerleaders. But there's more going on than just football.

"Kids play Flag Football and cheerlead here at Little Bonne Femme. With Upward they get more than just football and cheerleading, but they'll be able to hear the Gospel preached to them and hear scripture and that's something that local leagues don't offer."

With six, seven and eight-year-olds, its not easy to point the players in the right direction.

"The thing that I had to do was lower myself to their level in a way and make every little thing just so simple," Upward coach Lindsay Fox says. "The coaches are allowed to be on the field so when I go out there I say, okay you're gonna run like this, this is the person getting the ball and you just have to make it simplified for them."

With the season winding down, Upward is achieving a big goal.

"We try to make it so every single person on every team gets to score at least once in the season, maybe twice. Just to see the look on their face when they score, their so proud of theirself. And it just makes them feel good as well as you because you helped them achieve that goal," said Fox.

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