Tryouts for Kickoff set to begin

Cayman athletes have a chance to earn their spot in gridiron history.

The Collegiate Development Football League is staging a tryout session for local players seeking to play in the first annual “Cayman Kickoff Classic” International Scout Bowl. The tryout is scheduled for Dec. 2 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. The bowl game, which is an exhibition contest put on by the league and the Cayman Islands government, is slated for Jan. 10, 2015, at 7 p.m. at Truman Bodden. Cayman participants will be up against young men from the United States along with former National Football League and Canadian Football League players.

According to a Ministry of Tourism press release, a number of areas will be tested. The release says, “Tryouts will consist of non-contact drills to evaluate player readiness for the sport of American football, including: speed testing via the 40-yard dash, agility testing, Cross-Fit training to measure conditioning level, skill demonstration and one-on-one drills specific to position, reaction drills, power strength, flexibility and balance measurement and an interview to measure desire, attitude, teamwork and sportsmanship.”

Prospective players must at least 18 years old, bring identification for age verification and sign a waiver release/medical form. Next Tuesday’s free session is expected to last roughly 90 minutes and players are expected to wear a T-shirt, shorts and athletic shoes.

The bowl is being touted as the first time a proper American football game – with elements such as the associated equipment and full-contact style of play – is being staged on these shores. Over the years, Cayman has always had a passion for the sport but acted on that enthusiasm through local efforts involving its non-contact version, flag football. Among the reasons for flag football emerging as the preferred activity were it being relatively inexpensive and the pursuit being less violent than its full-tackle version.

This is not the first time government has tried catering to local pigskin enthusiasts. The Ministry of Tourism teamed up with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins to stage youth flag football camps at the T.E. McField Sports Centre (commonly called the Annex). That initiative completed its second year back in July, attracting dozens of youngsters aged 6-14.

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