By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
There are no helmets and no pads – just flags and sometimes football cleats. Killeen's Park and Recreation is in the middle of its adult flag football season.
"We call it the league of has-beens," said Emund Prichett, Killeen Parks and Recreation athletics superintendent, after saying many of the players in the league played high school or college football.
The Sunday games at Lions Club Park are slightly different than professional. There is no contact, the fields are only 80 yards long and the teams score a first down every 20 yards instead of 10 yards, Prichett said.
"It is more about speed than it is about power," said Prichett, who plays in the league. "This is a means of staying in shape."
For the last four or five years, Prichett has been organizing the football league for Killeen Parks and Recreation, which averages 11 to 12 teams a year. He said he hopes it will grow in future years, and he hopes to host statewide adult championship as Killeen's football facilities continue to improve.
"This is our first year to have lights out here," Prichett said.
This year, 11 teams paid the $300 to play in the league. Each team plays at least 10 games. There are also post season playoffs, all of which Parks and Recreation are hoping to end before Thanksgiving.
Players such as Odis Alexander, of Harker Heights, enjoy playing in the league.
"It's Sunday afternoon and sports," Alexander said. "It is pretty much get out and have some fun."
Alexander, 29, who plays for the Automax Team, has been playing flag football since 1996. He also played football in high school and six years for the Marine Corps, he said.
"The competition is a lot higher in flag football," Alexander said.
Alexander's teammate, Tyrone Horton, 28, of Killeen, agreed. Just because the players are older and slower does not mean they don't try or play as hard, Horton said.
The average of the team's players are between 22 and 40 years old, Horton said.
"The intensity is a lot stronger out here," he said.
For some though, it is not just about a Sunday at the park playing a game.
The Automax team practices at least every Saturday, and started getting ready for the league games several months before the August registration, Alexander said.
Family and friends also get to enjoy the Sunday games, Prichett said,
"Our whole thing is try and make it a family environment," he said, looking at several people sitting in the stands.
Some family members, such as Anjelica Rosario, attend every Sunday's game.
"I am out here watching my fiance," Rosario said, watching the Total Riders play the Apache "I love watching my fiance. He is a running back, and watching him move is awesome."
Registration for the league is typically in August, and all teams have do is provide a contact number for a coach, have the players and provide $300 for referees and equipment, said Prichett.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7554