Clutching a football, with red flags flapping from his waist, Calvin Chait-Walter runs up the side of a small football field a scores a touchdown. It’s only flag football, but that doesn’t squash Chait-Walter’s enthusiasm as he jumps in the air with his teammates.
His mom, Andrea Chait, of Seal Beach loves the flag football league. “It’s one of the big social events of the week,” she said. “It’s a great way to see everybody, be part of the community and play a sport in a safe way.”
Every fall Friday evening in Los Alamitos, about 700 young players gather on the grass behind McAuliffe Middle School. The area is transformed in to a flag football zone with 13 fields measuring 50 by 30 yards.
The league, dubbed FNL, or Friday Night Lights, was created by parents Mark Broersma and Chris Ketcham and claims to be the largest non-profit flag football organization in the country. The pair wanted a place for their growing boys to play football.
They started nine years ago with 300 players – today they have 15,000 in 10 leagues from Los Alamitos to Palm Springs to San Diego and one in Florida.
The action on the field isn’t limited to football. The FNL Cheer program matches girls with a professional coach and cheerleaders from Los Alamitos High School. Ketcham said adding the cheer program was a great way to get the whole family involved.
I’ve covered the Long Beach Marathon every year it was run since 1998. This year I got to participate. Here is a time lapse of the bike tour. Twenty miles in an hour and a half compressed to four minutes.
Firefighters gather in Santa Ana for the Orange County Fire Chief’s Fire Service Memorial in on Monday. Twenty nine firefighters and lifeguards who died after retirement and during the line of duty were honored.