Category Archives: flag football

Leapin’ Lizards!

 

The #2 son is about to catch a pass.

My #1 priority when shooting weekly flag football games is, of course, the #2 son. I enjoy capturing photos of his athleticism. He’s always been an exciting player on offense, and he used to be a top-notch defender who would get his share of interceptions during the season.

 

One of the tough guys the #2 son plays against.

One of the tough guys the #2 son plays against.

But then he started high school this fall and moved to the adult division of our neighborhood flag football league. Suddenly he became, in a word, short. At about 5 feet 5 inches (a growth spurt of seven inches in the last two years), my 14-year-old is too puny to defend against some of the behemoth adults in his division. So he’s mostly stuck rushing the quarterback and trying to harass him into throwing a bad pass that one of our taller guys can try to pick off.

There aren’t a lot of high school kids in the adult division this fall, but there is one team that features all high schoolers. #2’s team played them last Sunday. The following series of photos will show why it’s an advantage to be bigger and stronger than the average ninth- or tenth-grader.

Sam and Omar both jump high for the football.

Sam and Omar both jump high for the football.

The battle for the ball features our guy Sam, a very talented collegian, vs. Omar, who is in high school. Sam is taller and more muscular.

Sam has his hands on the football

Sam has both hands on the football to Omar's one.

The pass was intended for Sam. Our quarterback, old man Matt, likes to throw the ball up high to our tall receivers, figuring that they can out jump their defenders. Or at least he hopes they can!

This is Sam's pass to lose . . . but he won't!

This is Sam's pass to lose . . . but he won't!

Omar had great defensive position on Sam, but he just wasn’t strong enough to come away with the ball.

Omar tries to hold on for dear life!

Omar tries to hold on for dear life!

Sam’s advantage besides height and weight? Had to be those gloves! Look cool, play cool.

Give it up, Omar!

Give it up, Omar!

Sam has won the battle! And his and #2’s team also won the game. It was fun to watch and photograph.

True confession time: I must admit that I didn’t completely concentrate on the #2 son’s team all the time.

Remember the last time I took photos of flag football and showed them here? Well, guess who was on the next field busy distracting me again?!?

#1 reaches over the defender for the pass.

#1 reaches over the defender for the pass.

Yep, there was my old friend, #1. He’s tall and strong, and he showed why it’s smart to throw him the ball in the end zone. He doesn’t have to leap very high to grab it, but he does anyway.

#1 keeps his eye on the prize.

#1 keeps his eye on the prize.

The man can juggle, too!

Touchdown!

Touchdown!

Leapin’ lizards! It definitely pays to be taller and stronger in flag football. As for having a gorgeous body, well, that just means you’ll be pictured in a certain blog a lot!

The Number One Distraction

Skying high to try to catch/intercept a pass

Skying high to try to catch/intercept a pass

Sunday afternoon started out like any other flag football day.

Alex scampers up the field.

Alex scampers up the field.

The #2 son coached his younger-division team.

The #2 son looks the ball into his hands and then runs for a touchdown.

The #2 son looks the ball into his hands and then runs for a touchdown.

And then he played a pair of games on his adult-division team.

Juggling a potential touchdown catch

Juggling a potential touchdown catch

In the first game, there was the usual great action to try to capture. Like juggling the ball . . . .

Touchdown!

Touchdown!

. . . and then catching the almost-elusive touchdown pass in the end zone.

Kellen smiles before the game starts.

Kellen smiles before the game starts.

And just plain looking like you’re having a good time.

But then the second game started.

A great catch before the ball hits the ground

A great catch before the ball hits the ground

A game in which there still were great plays to try to document. Which wasn’t easy because of number one.

Number one

Number one

Yes, “number one” as in the number one shooting distraction of the day for me! Look at his chiseled body! Those arms are a work of art.

Number one looked menacing . . . but he really wasn't.

Number one looked menacing . . . but he really wasn't.

Besides the fact that Mr. Gorgeous Bod looked fantastic, he also towered over a certain 14-year-old kid on the opposing team.

The photographer was faked out on this fake!

The photographer was faked out on this fake!

Number one, meet the #2 son!

During the game, it was hard for me to keep my focus on anyone but #1. I know I was supposed to get good photos of #2’s team, but the distraction was just too much for me.

#1 chases coach Matt.

#1 chases coach Matt.

Now remind me . . . which team is the #2 son on? My focal point seems to have strayed!

All I know is that the next time we face #1’s team, I’m just going to sit and watch and enjoy the show!!

Of Touchdown Passes Missed and Caught

Quarterback Chuck

Quarterback Chuck

This is Chuck, the quarterback for the #2 son’s adult-division flag football team. He’s the one who threw the pass that started the chain of events that my new Nikon D700 and well-used Nikon 70-200mm lens captured last Sunday. At five frames per second. While I was sitting down next to the Mister just past the end zone.

Sidebar: I was being a lazy photographer, because it was hot out, and I was tired. I was frustrated that I couldn’t get any good photos from the sideline, because the bigger players always were blocking me. And, did I already mention, I was tired?

Chuck threw the ball to Jeffrey. And then the football and photographic fun began. Let the photos (and captions) tell the story:

It looks like a sure touchdown as Jeffrey corrals the ball.

It looks like a sure touchdown as Jeffrey corrals the ball.

Oh, oh . . . is this a juggling act?

Oh, oh . . . is this a juggling act?

Was there slippery stuff on the ball?

Was there slippery stuff on the ball?

The touchdown is there for the taking!

The touchdown is there for the taking!

All Jeffrey needs to do is catch the ball and fall down for a touchdown.

All Jeffrey needs to do is catch the ball and fall down for a touchdown.

Nope, he missed it. The ball has gone past his outstretched fingertips.

Nope, he missed it. The ball has gone past his outstretched fingertips.

As it turned out, Jeffrey’s missed touchdown wouldn’t have helped #2’s team win the game. But it was a great effort—he should’ve gotten points just for that!

Of course, the real reason I was at the game snapping away?

After this catch, the #2 son turns and runs for an easy touchdown.

After this catch, the #2 son turns and runs for an easy touchdown.

To capture this touchdown catch by the #2 son!

Flag football: Then and Now

The #2 son takes the handoff from coach/quarterback Matt.

The #2 son takes the handoff from coach/quarterback Matt.

I didn’t just take photos of the younger kids playing flag football last Sunday. You didn’t think that I would forget about my favorite sports subject, the #2 son, did you? My freshman has moved up to the high school/adult division, and he played two games, both wins (yay!).

Kellen skies high to snag the catch.

Kellen K. skies high to snag the catch.

As I was snapping away with my Nikon D300 and Nikon 70-200mm lens and getting used to the change from little bodies (the #2 son-coached fifth-/sixth-grade division team) to big, I was chuckling to myself. Not because #2 always puffs his cheeks out when he plays (although that does amuse me), but because I was thinking back to the spring of 2005.

Coach/quarterback Matt talks.

Coach/quarterback Matt talks.

About four and a half years ago, Matt K. started our neighborhood NFL flag football program, because he played the sport in Houston, and he wanted his three sons to have the same opportunity but closer. That year every team wore Houston Texans jerseys (white on one side, blue on the other), and we all had a great time.

I liked it because it was a beehive of activity at our local Club field (that we can walk to) every Sunday afternoon for seven weeks. Kids from kindergarten through high school and adults had a blast playing flag football for 30 minutes. There were guys and gals of all shapes, sizes, and ethnic groups. It was America at its best! And it still is every fall and every spring in our master-planned community.

Opposing quarterback Shane looks for a receiver.

Opposing quarterback Shane, chased by Kellen, looks for a receiver.

Four and a half years doesn’t seem that long ago, does it? But photos never lie . . . as long as they haven’t been Photoshopped!

The #2 son scoots away from the pursuing Shane.

The #2 son scoots away from the pursuing Shane.

It just so happens that I looked back in my photo archives to contrast how #2, Kellen, and Shane have changed since the program started. Back then all three were so darned cute!

Longer-haired Kellen takes a turn at quarterback.

Longer-haired Kellen takes a turn at quarterback.

Kellen still is playing quarterback, but this time it’s for his high school’s freshman team.

Shane was looking for receivers back in 2005, too!

Shane was looking for receivers back in 2005, too!

Shane also quarterbacks as a freshman, but he’s on his private school’s varsity squad. Yes, back then all three were talented and adorable. But four and a half years later?

Kellen today

Kellen today

Talented and total hunk city!

Odd Segue

Speaking of talented and hunky, happy 59th birthday to the Mister!

Knocking the Photographic Rust Off

The #2 son huddles with the team he coaches.

The #2 son huddles with the team he coaches.

Whew, it feels good to toss that crying towel and turn the lights off on that pity party I threw myself in yesterday’s blog. Let’s get back to something real, something important, something photographic . . . like flag football!

The last time I featured flag football photos was back in the spring. Now it’s the fall season when we’re hoping the temps will drop enough to make it actually feel like football season here in the Houston area. The opening games last Sunday had red-hot action that only added to the 85-degree temps. That meant lots of sweating on the sidelines by a certain photographer, who had lots of photographic rust to knock off her flag football-shooting skills.

Even though I had been shooting high school football with my Nikon D300 and Nikon 70-200mm lens (the combination used here), there’s a big difference between the larger stadium field and huge, padded players vs. the smaller flag football field and younger kids.

Flag football is five on five and often resembles a three-ring circus. You have to focus fast to stop the action, which is hard when you have no idea where the ball is going to be thrown (the running plays are much easier to photograph). I trashed plenty of blurred photos that evening—glad I have lots of games to improve!

Caleb runs for yardage.

Caleb runs for yardage.

The #2 son is coaching the same younger-division team (plus two new players) for the third straight season. This time they’ve moved up to the fifth-/sixth-grade group.

Alex tries to evade a flag-puller.

Alex tries to evade a flag-puller.

The good news about the first game of the season? We found out that the team #2 is coaching is da Bears, the team I grew up with back in Chicago. Easy for me to cheer for the Bears! When the kids were the Titans that first season, I just couldn’t muster one, solitary “Go, Titans!” for them. Ugh!

Cayden stops the ball from reaching Alex.

Cayden stops the ball from reaching Alex.

I’d love to report that our little guys notched a win in their opener. But, sadly, they were outplayed by their opponents, who had some taller, more-capable players. Like Cayden, shown above. Look at how he deftly snatches the pass away from our Alex.

Cayden keeps his eyes on the prize.

Cayden keeps his eyes on the prize.

Here Cayden is tipping the ball to himself for the interception.

Christian makes a catch.

Christian makes a catch.

Even our foes’ little guys shone. Look at Christian about to corral a catch.

Nick throws a bullet pass.

Nick throws a bullet pass.

And then there’s Nick, a multisports star, who, when he wasn’t zipping passes to his receivers, was running all over the field.

Fortunately, just like me, our little guys have more games to improve and knock off the flag football-playing rust. Here’s hoping we’re both successful by the end of the season!