Flag football finds its niche with Dillard

Dillard University has not had a football team since the 1950s.Students at Dillard started flag football in the fall of 2000, butthe game soon became suspended for the next two years. Such pastgames included one against Xavier University during the Homecomingseason.

Flag football is meant to serve as a Homecoming game for smalluniversities without real football teams. In the fall of 2003, thegame was brought back under the coaching of senior Edward Jackson.He helped bring both the male and female teams to victory againstXavier.

The ladies earned the title as the Powder Puff Champions and themen earned the title as the Flag football Champions of 2003.

This year there are four coaches, the head coach, CroixMcClendon, is a native of New Orleans and a senior physical therapymajor.

So far there are approximately 15 women and 25 men that show upfor every practice. Practices are held on the field behindRosenwald Hall at 4:30 p.m. Each team, the male and female,practices for one and a half hours. McClendon said that last yearthere were not enough funds for team uniforms, so the men’s teamhad to purchase their own uniforms.

He hopes that they can earn enough money through theirfundraisers as well as with the help of local sponsors this year,to avoid the problems of last year. They will host such fundraisersas a local car wash, a bake sale and other events.

When asked what have you gained from this training experience,many stated the same thing. Most felt that this sport shows trueteam unity. There is no room for large egos, they said.
Esther Mathews, a transfer sophomore business management major fromSacramento, Calif. said, “I wanted to become involved in Dillard’sactivities, so I joined the team. It has also granted me theopportunity to meet lots of different students.”

Lance Jackson, freshman from Detroit, Mich. said, “I playsemi-professional football at home, so this helps me keep up myfundamental skills.”

While watching a few plays during practice passersby candefinitely spot one thing. The ladies play just as hard as the men.The teammates also agree that there is lots of support andencouragement that makes the sport so enjoyable.

But one sour note, they said, is as the weeks roll by; theplayers seem to vanish one by one off the field. The coaches hopeto see Dillard students, faulty and alumni support both teams thisyear.

For them, this means supporting the fundraisers, sitting outsideand watching practice, and most importantly coming to the game,even if it falls on a Sunday.