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Youth Coasting toward competitive fun by Kevin Rolfe in


There is a fine line youth


sports


between recreation and


competition.


While most involved want to build charac- ter and develop a love of sports among the youth involved, there is something to be said about building a competitive spirit as well. Coast


SWEET SPOT: A Coast to Coast player makes a tough catch. Submitted photo


TOE TO TOE: Two Coast to Coast athletes match up on the field. Submitted photo


to Coast


Football offers that competitive spirit in their programs. Started in 2007 by Bryan May, Coast to Coast Football offers flag football programs for ages 3 and older, includ- ing an adult league. Their motto is “Athletes Having Competitive Fun.” “We strive to develop champions,” says May of his


league, which serves primarily the East Valley, although participants come from all over the greater Phoenix area. “We are not a recreational league. There are plenty of


those around.” Coast to Coast is in partnership with the Arizona


Cardinals. Last season, the Cardinals sent cornerback Patrick Peterson out to meet the youth players. The teams


in the league all sport Cardinal jerseys. The league is organized by age level. Individuals can


register or teams of seven to 10 players and a coach can register as a group. All games are played Saturdays at Discovery Park in Gilbert. Teams are encouraged to prac- tice at local schools or parks in their area. There are three seasons: fall, winter and spring. Each


season consists of eight to 10 regular season games and a post-season tournament. Between 1,100 and 1,200 kids participate each season. Division winners can advance to a regional tournament against teams from Texas, Nevada, Colorado and California. The top regional teams then advance to a national tournament in Florida. Coast to Coast


I GOT IT: Two Coast to Coast athletes vie for the ball. Submitted photo


boasts five regional champions in their short history. May also started basketball league Swish last summer. “We’re a more competitive league than others in the


East Valley,” says May. Games are played primarily in Higley schools. Swish offers a league schedule opposite of most others. They


offer kids a chance to play basketball year-round. Swish has about 400 participants, but May expects that number to grow. “We had 125 kids when we started Coast to Coast foot-


ball and that’s grown to over 1,000 per season. I expect Swish to grow even faster than that.” May’s group also has a nonprofit arm that offers bully-


ing and obesity prevention programs. For more information, visit www.coast2coastfootball.com.


Kevin Rolfe, a fourth-grade teacher at Basha Elementary


School, is a Chandler sports enthusiast who lives with his fam- ily in Traditions at Avalon.


March 3 - 16, 2012 23


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