A cool breeze, clear sky and the sounds of football—common occurrences at most high schools on an autumn Friday afternoon, but a pleasant surprise at Pine View. The first ever class of 2017 sponsored flag football tournament took place Friday Dec. 2, and was successful for a first time event, with 10 teams—over 70 students—participating.
Teams were co-ed and consisted of mostly eleventh- and twelfth-graders, with a few tenth-graders in on the action. Twelfth-grader Halle Belden said that she initially found out about the event on the Class of 2017 Facebook page. “I don’t usually play football, but I noticed that a lot of my classmates were participating in the tournament, so I figured it’d be a good way to spend the whole afternoon—having fun with my class and then going to the Sadie Hawkins dance at night,” she said.
The event was the brainchild of twelfth-grader Sergeant-at-Arms Riley Hann. He said he came up with the idea to hold the tournament while thinking of fundraising ideas with other class officers. According to Hann several twelfth-graders have been playing flag football on Saturdays, so he thought there might be interest. “The biggest challenge was organizing all of it and putting the brackets together and collecting the waivers,” Hann said.
The proceeds from the tournament, which cost $5 per student ($2 for twelfth-graders), are going to the class of 2017 to help pay for graduation at the Van Wezel in June. Speaking of Riley’s involvement, class of 2017 sponsor and Pine View parent Shari Dodd said, “He did a really good job, and he pretty much did it all himself.” She said that she was impressed that he was able to get it all organized in about three weeks.
Class of 2017 President Sahil Pankhaniya helped with the logistics and worked with Assistant Principal Jennifer Nzeza on that end. “Sahil was in charge of organizing the chaperones, and he did a good job with that,” Dodd said.
About a dozen teachers showed up to help out and watch the tournament, which lasted from 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. Twelfth-grade student and co-captain of the winning team Dominic LeFever added, “It was really good to see all the teachers out here supporting us.”
The action was fast paced, and the championship game—between LeFever’s Redskins and Hann’s Pythons—was a back and forth battle that came down to a missed opportunity on the final play, which handed LeFever and co-captain Spencer Wiseman’s Redskins the victory.
However, winning and losing did not appear to be that important to most of the participants, who were cheering and laughing throughout the afternoon. “Everybody had a lot of fun… a really good turnout,” Hann said, adding, “The weather was beautiful—a perfect day for football.”