Unity is key at SMAA Flag Football finals


Despite heavy fog, roughly 300 students from East Meadow’s and Salisbury’s schools went head-to-head on Dec. 2 at the SMAA Flag Football league’s championship finals at Cantiague Park in Hicksville.

The nonprofit league of 32 teams gives students from kindergarten through 12th grade an opportunity to compete in a friendly environment. The league unites athletes from neighboring schools who would not otherwise play on the same team.

All referees and coaches are former players, many of who graduated from East Meadow or W.T. Clarke high schools and wanted to remain involved in the league, said its founder Dave Schwarz. “The parents love the exuberance of the young coaches.”

The sport is similar to mainstream football, but rather than tackling players, the defensive team removes a flag from the ball carrier’s flag belt to achieve a “down.” Players showcased their speed and agility, lunging for each other’s belts and evading the other team to score points.