CGAA football: Raising the flagFamilies had an opportunity to sign their kids up for the first-ever Cottage Grove Athletic Association flag football league this past weekend.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
Families had an opportunity to sign their kids up for the first-ever Cottage Grove Athletic Association flag football league this past weekend as the CGAA held registrations on Saturday, July 9, at Hamlet Park, during the CGAA in-house baseball tournament.
The fun, but competitive, introductory flag football league will run from early August to the middle of October. It’s at the mite level — first and second graders — and open to kids from Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park, Newport and surrounding communities.
The league will be managed by Dan Smoot, the mites director for CGAA football.
Smoot graduated from Park in 1994 and went on to play college football at St. John’s University for coaching legend John Gagliardi.
Smoot is hoping 80 to 100 kids will take part in the league. He said right now there are roughly 50 players signed up for flag football.
“We’ve got about a month to go to get there and I’m optimistic we will do so,” Smoot said. “People are really excited about it. With baseball and soccer going on, I just think people haven’t started thinking about football yet. We’re doing what we can to promote the league. I think it’s going to be a fun, good year.”
Last year, three Cottage Grove and eight East Ridge Athletic Association flag football teams were formed and competed in the Oakdale Athletic Association’s flag football league. However, this year, the new CGAA flag football program will replace the mites clinic, which was held in years past.
In some metro area communities, flag football is becoming what tee ball has been to baseball for decades. Neighboring Woodbury has had a flag football league for many years and had 16 teams in its league this past season.
The new CGAA flag football league will be a seven-on-seven format on a shortened field. Each team will have roughly 10 players. Each team will play each other once and there will likely be an end-of-the-year tournament. The new flag football league will cost $75 and will include jerseys, roughly seven or eight games and weekly practices.
According to its website, the CGAA football program is for all individuals in grades 1-6. The primary goal of the program is to teach the game of football in a way that emphasizes the fundamentals, creates a competitive atmosphere and allows the players to have fun learning the game. CGAA football is a nonprofit volunteer organization serving over 350 kids.
Families have additional opportunities to sign up their kids for CGAA football. The next CGAA youth football registrations will be held on Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Hamlet Park. Online registration is also available at www.cgaafootball.org.
“Online is always open,” Smoot said. “That’s how we’re getting most of our registrations in these days anyway. It’s easy and I think everyone likes it, but we do get some walk-ins.”