Simon Cain and Jensen Schell have been looking for a business to start and after a short search, they fell upon NFL Flag Football and a light went off.
“We decided to start a youth sports league here in Glendale and found NFL Flag Football and decided it was the perfect venture to get started with,” Schell said. “We decided to start with a flag football league with an eye towards expanding to other sports after this gets rolling.”
Flag football is a version of the game where the basic rules are similar to the National Football League, but instead of tackling, the players wear flags around their waist that the defenders must remove from the players with the ball to end a down. Contact is not permitted between players; it results in penalties if there is contact.
When asked why they decided with flag football as opposed to Pop Warner type games, both Schell and Cain had the same answer.
“Injury prevention is the key reason we decided to go with flag football,” Schell said. “Head injuries are a big thing with tackle football and we can work on normal skill set, so kids gain hand-eye coordination without the aches and injuries of tackle football.”
Cain and Schell grew up in the West Valley and had been looking to create a business with youth sports for a while when they came across NFL Flag Football and decided to research starting a new league.
“We were going to start our own league when we came across NFL Flag Football and after discussing the costs and everything needed, it just made sense to partner with them,” Cain said. “There was an application process, but no fee; they just wanted to make sure our values and views aligned with what they are doing - and they do.”
Cain played high school football himself while Schell played soccer and played semi-professional soccer for a couple years, before deciding to start their own youth league.
After being vetted through the NFL Flag Football process, Simon and Schell started AZ Dynamic. The league will host their games at Arizona State University West with games scheduled to begin March 3.
“We currently have 22 kids registered and we are hoping to start the season with eight to 10 teams of six to 10 kids per team,” Simon said.
Registration is open and parents can register their children at www.azdynamicsports.com by Feb. 15. Cost is $125, which includes everything the kids need - flags, footballs and replica NFL jerseys for the teams. Teams will also compete with a chance to play in regional and national NFL Flag Football tournaments.
“One key for us is the competitive nature that we are looking for,” Simon said. “We are not trying to be a traveling club team, but we are trying to have kids learn to be competitive and work hard to get better.”
Simon and Schell said the main difference between their league and others will be communication and quality control. Parents will have the ability to contact them directly and both said they plan to attend regular practices and games throughout the entire season.
“I want all parents to know they will be able to contact myself or (Simon) whenever they have a questions or issue,” Schell said. “We are planning on having a high quality control on this league and make sure each kid is getting the proper coaching and instruction over the year.”
Schell said coaches will have to take lessons in USA Flag Football coaching programs that teaches them about dehydration, skills and how to be safe and improve on their skills along with the kids. They also plan, after the first year, to contact local high schools to start a connection with them to help run and have the school compete in non-pad skills during the off season.
“I would love to get that connection with local high schools, so we can host passing tournaments for the West Valley in the future,” Cain said. “Also, we hope to have spring drills that can get eighth-grade students, who are preparing for their freshman year, everything they need to make them more competitive.”
As they prepare for their first season, they would like parents to know this is more than just a business, but a love of youth sports.
“The biggest things are that not only have fun, but compete at high level, and push them to find success, whatever that is for each of them,” Cain said. “We are going to find the best coaches and every kid gets everything out of it they can.”
Schell seconded that, adding, “not only will they compete at team goals, but individual goals, and we just want to help build the kids, family and community up and that is what we want them to get and make a better Glendale and Peoria.”