March may be half-way through but local youngsters have just started their pursuit of flag football glory.
The Security Centre Youth Flag Football League for 2011 got under way last Saturday.
The Camana Bay football field saw matches across three age divisions throughout the day.
In the senior division the reigning champions, the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association Saints, start their 2011 campaign with a win.
The side defeated the Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital Giants 35-12. The match was in the Saints favour most of the way though scored twice in the second half.
The match of the day was between the Zulu Warriors and Security Centre Packers. The back-and-forth affair would come down to a last minute drive by the Warriors.
Another defending champion got started with a victory.
The Al la Kebab Titans took down the Strategic Risk Solutions Steelers 30-24. Both clubs are going into their second year in the league.
Though the sides sported high-powered offences the match came down to an interception by the Titans for a touchdown.
Meanwhile a new club started off their foray into the sport on the right foot.
The Ritz Carlton Lions, a team name familiar to the sports of basketball and softball, beat the flag football association Colts 19-18.
The last match of the segment saw the Dart Dolphins squeak by the Security Centre Patriots 12-6. The match was a defensive battle that came down to field possession.
Finally in the junior group a quartet of familiar sides squared off.
The Broadhurst Buccaneers blanked the Walkers Wolverines 18-0 while the Burger King Gators chomped the Maples Raiders 18-7. The Bucs were guided by a dominant running game while the Gators needed timely scores late to earn the victory.
According to the numbers the sport is increasing in popularity among the youth. League Public Relations officer Amy Arnold, a name synonymous with local hockey for some time, states hundreds of kids don kits to live their pigskin dreams.
“We’re quite impressed with the growth,” Arnold said. “To have over 230 kids in the third year is great. The kids participating are aged 7-17 with boys and girls making up teams. This is an increase from last year (180 then) and from the year before (130).”