In 1977 a group of recent college graduates got together and formed what is known as the Fort Smith Flag Football League. Thirty-five years later the league is still around and growing each year.
“In the past 35 years, you have 300 plus different captains and different teams.” Said Dale Dueer one of the leagues Founding Fathers. “That sets the foundation that builds to better teams next year and hopefully the league will keep growing.”
The league is run 100% independently. Unlike other adult sporting leagues they do not receive any aid form Parks and Recreation. Without any support from the city, Commissioner Shawn McGee credits the leagues success to the Fort Smith community.
“People like to get together.” Said McGee. “It’s a close community. We have teams from all over the River Valley. People want to be out here, it’s that want that makes it run for 35 years.”
The athletes who participate in the league range from ages 18-58. Most players were high school stand-outs and some even played college football. While the league is a time for guys to get together and play a sport they love it is also extremely competitive.
“The teams out here are incredibly competitive.” Said Danny Fuller the 2011 League Most Valuable Player. “I would say that more than anything and just the fun. You get to play the sport you love to play.”
The teams will travel to Fayetteville on December 8th and 9th to compete in the State Flag Football Championships.