North Pole Flag Football season in jeopardy due to lack of numbers

North Pole Flag Football celebrates a touchdown against the Hutchison Hawks (September 10, 2019)
North Pole Flag Football celebrates a touchdown against the Hutchison Hawks (September 10, 2019)(Aaron Walling)
Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 6:45 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - To field a flag football team, Alaskan schools must have at least 10 players on its roster. The most participants the North Pole Flag Football team has seen at practice this year is seven, putting their 2020 season in jeopardy.

“It is desperation mode for us, this is it,” said North Pole Flag Football coach Mat Croan. “We need girls, we need as many as we can get.”

Croan says he has extended the invitation to join the team to Eielson High School and home school students in hopes to get enough players to have a season.

“These girls, no matter what team they’re on, they’re a family when they’re on the field,” added Croan. “For the most part, they take it with them outside the field too. It would hurt a lot, not just for the girls, but it would hurt us as coaches as well.”

A tentative high school flag football schedule has been released by the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District and does not have any games featuring North Pole.

“To me, it would mean everything,” said Croan of being able to have a season. “I am here for them, Coach Darby, he is here for them. We have one senior and that is Dakota Darby. It would mean the world to us to get her on the field playing. She is a competitor, she is everything and everywhere in every sport and we love her to death. To get her on the field one more time would be great.”

The first flag football game in the Interior is scheduled for August 25 when Hutchison High School and Lathrop High School square-off at 6 p.m.

Those interested in participating in North Pole Flag Football can reach the team on Facebook.

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