The Security Centre 2016 Youth Flag Football League is postponing their games this weekend in memory of Jamal Young, who passed away earlier this year.
Young played a major role in the association’s youth league in many different roles, including coaching, refereeing and just being a kid’s biggest supporter.
“The decision to postpone the games was an easy decision to make. Jamal was not only a good friend of mine, but a familiar face that I was used to seeing out here. He’s definitely remembered and missed on the field,” said Phil Brown, chairman of the youth league.
In a statement following Young’s death in January, the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association said: “In addition to the local league, he was an assistant coach and player for the national team for multiple years. Jamal had a passion for coaching, kids and football, so it was no surprise … the involvement that he quickly took with the youth league. He was deeply involved from its inception as a committee member and coach.
“In Jamal’s world, that sometimes meant coaching two divisions the same year. It could be easily said that he was the ultimate motivator to the kids during warm up drills, as he was loud and the kids loved him. There’s many people that are involved in sports today, looking for what they are going to personally get out of it. However, Jamal was different.
“He did what he did for the love of the sport and those playing the sport, and got simple joy from watching others enjoy the sports he loved. That just a small sample of Jamal’s commitment to CIFFA over the years.
In canceling the games, the association is urging all who knew Young in some way or was moved by his passing to attend the memorial service on Saturday at the Cayman Islands Baptist Church (by Pedro Castle) at 4 p.m. Players have been asked to wear their team jerseys.
Games will resume on March 19 at 10 a.m at the Camana Bay field.
Since the season started, there have been some interesting games. Four teams in each of the three divisions have seen a lot of new faces this season. “That’s what makes me happy with this league – seeing new faces that I haven’t seen. To me that means we did something right last year and are continuing to do something right,” said coach Shawn Pitterson.
Coached by Brad Connolly and Chester Hurlston, the Strategic Risk Solutions Steelers in the junior division are the only undefeated team in their age group.
In the senior division, the only undefeated team is Aerial Innovations Raiders, coached by CIFFA’s longtime referee Dean Claassens.
“It feels very unique to be on the other side of the ball and I have been enjoying learning new ways of football,” Claassens said. “The team is a great group of kids and each weekend they come out and have fun.”
In the middle division, the leading team is Walkers Patriots, coached by Gino Brown, with a record of 3-1.