Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

The Paso Robles Joint Unified School Board (PRJUSD) is considering a plan to establish a flag football program for 4th and 5th graders at all elementary schools in the district.

The request originally came from a local family that had a list of student signatures.

Elementary Athletic Director Tori Loney is set to present the proposal at the Board of Trustees meeting on February 13.

“With so many kids wanting this to come forward with signatures and so forth, the board [said], ‘Can you guys look into it?’ So it became a staff task,” said Monica Silva, PRJUSD Community Communication Specialist. “So staff went ahead and looked into it, put something together for the board to review and here we are now.”

Flag football was approved by CIF for girls this fiscal school year at the high school level. Loney argues that if enough girls participate at the elementary level, the school district can determine whether or not a high school team is warranted.

“The biggest thing about flag football is parents really like [that] it’s an introduction to football in general and to sports in general,” said Paso Robles High School Head Football Coach Matt Carroll. “I work for Next Level Sports. The big thing that we try to do is we try to teach the fundamentals of the game but also overall fitness for kids.”

Funds for the planned shortened season this April and May will cost almost $11,000. The total expected cost with equipment, transportation, coaches, and directors for a full season is expected to be as much as $14,000.

“The more doors that you can open for athletes, I think the better,” Carroll said. “Keeping young people busy is really important year-round. Trying new things out is really important. You know, students usually eyeball a certain sport for a scholarship or to go to college, and the next thing they know, they play another sport and they’re really successful in that.”

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