Flag-football league wraps up

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Daily News

Year one is in the books.

A new flag-football league, which is sponsored by Wesley Woodyard’s 16Ways Foundation, wrapped up on Saturday with a single-elimination tournament at the Harris Baseball Complex.

The league, which was a partnership between Woodyard’s foundation and the Troup County Parks and Recreation Commission, kicked off on July 31, and it wrapped up on Saturday with the tournament and champions were crowned in the two age groups.

It’s a character-based league, and that’s reflected in the team names.  There weren’t any Cowboys, or Falcons, rather the teams were called Leadership, Discipline, Polite, Courage, Respect, and Obedient.

Woodyard, a LaGrange High graduate who is preparing for his 11th season in the NFL, said earlier this summer he’s happy to do something for the young people in his hometown.

“I love the game of football,” Woodyard said during an introductory meeting for the league in July. “I love this platform where I get the chance to come back and work with kids. I’m excited about it.”

Darryl Holsey of the Troup County Parks and Recreation Commission, who helped run the league, said finding the right coaches was important.

“That’s one of the critical things,” Holsey said. “I handpicked these guys. I knew they wouldn’t have any issues, and they’d be ones the parents would like. And so far, it’s been great.”

Woodyard, who learned the sport playing recreation football in Troup County, said the coaching a player receives at a young age can help shape their future.

“There’s way better coaches in high school, and college, and rec league, because they care more,” Woodyard said. “When you get that one coach that really cares, you’ll do whatever you coach tells you to do. When you’re a great coach, that’s what the kids will do.”

Derrick Kelley, who co-founded the 16Ways Foundation with Woodyard, said they’ve made a financial commitment to the league for the next few years.

“Next year is paid for, and the season after that is paid for,” Kelley said. “Everybody I talked to can see it going big.”

Kelley added that “we want to make it fun for them, but also instill discipline. That’s what we’re looking for.”

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