Burger King feeds hunger for flag

Local residents should be hitting the gridiron en masse next month.

The Burger King Coed League, put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association, is slated to launch on Feb. 14. There are plans to divide play into two groups. There is a registration fee of $500, which includes 15 shirts.

Association vice president Perry Levy said there will be different levels of play on display.

“I am happy to report that it is our intention – based on feedback from the majority of team reps – to host more games this year,” Levy said. “This will likely result in teams playing more than once a week in some cases, bye weeks are probable, but more details will follow once confirmed. We will again split the league into two divisions, A and B. As before, the A division will consist of more experienced players and the B division, although just as competitive and fun, will be more casual giving newer teams an opportunity to have some success.

“Also we just wanted to take the opportunity to thank all members who helped make last year’s league a successful one. We would also like to recognized last year’s champions: Burger Shack (A division) and Wok-n-Roll (B division).”

Last season, Burger Shack – formerly Child Please! – won their third A division title in four years at the Ed Bush Sports Center in West Bay. Led by Levy, the team was bolstered by familiar names such as Kevin Solomon, Cassandra Bodden and Malaqui Awe. Wok-n-Roll topped the B ranks with Antoinette Lewis, Jason Wong, Phil Brown and Alexandra Saintvil. Among the standout individual performers were Brendon Malice, Brad Conolly and Jerry Beck.

News of the coed league comes as Cayman prepares to send national teams to the 43rd annual U.S. Flag and Touch League National Flag Football Championships in Kissimmee, Florida. Games will take place on Jan. 17-19 at the Austin Tindall Sports Complex.

The competition is nothing new as Cayman has participated for years. In 2012, the ladies placed fifth out of seven teams in the seven-man screen format, while the eight-man eligible unit finished ninth out of 18 squads. The men were ninth out of 12 teams in the nine-man ineligible category.

For this year’s event, the association has been organizing practices and tryouts at various sporting venues since last October. The men’s team will feature talents like Baron Solomon and Adrian Rowe. The ladies will have players such as Joni Wood and Tamika Byrd.

Most of the players took part in the association’s annual adult competition, the 2013 Digicel Summer League. The Burger King Panthers and Androgroup Killa-Panthers emerged the national champions. Burger King, led by star quarterback and league Most Valuable Player Chris Lucas, claimed its first men’s title in franchise history by defeating the Lone Star Mustangs. Androgroup, featuring Finals MVP Shamar Ennis, nabbed the women’s crown for the first time by beating the Lynx.

The Kissimmee tournament comes after the association staged its fifth annual beach competition. Dubbed the Beach Bash this year, The Parkers team of Oliver, Cueme and Christsania Parker along with Clay Coleman, Jennifer Cotarelo and Keisha Solomon emerged the winner.