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Inaugural youth flag football tournament in Lowestoft hailed a success

PUBLISHED: 17:47 07 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:47 07 June 2017

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament.
Pictures: Mick Howes

Waveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. Pictures: Mick Howes

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It is a fast paced game that has seen youngsters from across Waveney impress as they battle it out with the best.

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. Pictures: Mick Howes

Scores of flag footballers shone in the sunny east coast conditions on Saturday as the inaugural Waveney Youth Flag Football tournament was held – with organisers hailing it as a success.

Hundreds of people turned out a packed Barnards Meadow to see Waveney Wolves clinch the U12 Southern Conference after winning all three of their games at their home tournament. They are now looking forward to representing Waveney at the national finals in the Autumn.

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. Pictures: Mick Howes

Competing against Waveney Timber Wolves, London Blitz and Solent Seahawks, the strength in depth of the home club at U12 level was displayed as the Timber Wolves pushed London Blitz and Waveney Wolves all the way before giving up scores late in both games.

An U17 tournament was also held on the day, featuring Waveney Grey Wolves, who are learning fast in their first season. They competed against Herts Cheetahs, London Blitz and London Warriors, suffering close defeats against the London sides before comprehensively beating Herts Cheetahs.

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. Pictures: Mick Howes

Head coach, John Sherwood, was very pleased with the tournament and results.

He said: “What a day! It was great to have the two London teams travel up to Lowestoft and hats off to Solent Seahawks who came up from the south coast. Clinching the U12 Southern Conference was the cherry on top of a great day.”

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. Pictures: Mick Howes

With Waveney American Football formed in 2015 by John Sherwood, Mat Reynolds and Nigel Hadley, flag football was introduced into local High Schools with community teams following. Now there are two Wolves teams at U12 and the U17 side, with plans in place for a 5v5 full contact football.

Waveney now have more than 30 players ranging from eight to 16 competing in flag football. All the players attend local primary or high schools. Training sessions are free and held on Saturdays from 12.30pm to 2pm at Barnards Meadow.

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. Pictures: Mick Howes

Recruitment across all ages, boys and girls, is ongoing and a local inter-school tournament has also been proposed.

Visit www.waveneywolves.com or search on Facebook or Twitter for further details about Waveney Wolves.

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. Pictures: Mick Howes

History of Waveney Wolves

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. Pictures: Mick Howes

In 2015 Mat Reynolds and Nigel Hadley delivered an American Football experience for pupils at Pakefield High School.

It was so well received that other schools were approached to see if they would be interested in similar sessions – with experienced youth coach John Sherwood getting involved to help deliver dozens of flag football sessions at schools in Waveney.

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. Pictures: Mick Howes

Last year Waveney FC generously allowed their facilities at Barnards Meadow to be used by the flag footballers and a Saturday Club was born.

Soon Waveney Wolves were entering the prestigious Huntsmen Bowl in Leicester, with further tournaments played last summer leading to four players being selected for the South team in he end of season North v South U12 All Star Game.

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. Pictures: Mick Howes

This season has already seen the two U12 teams reach the Huntsmen Bowl final, with both teams and the U17 team still involved in the push for the national finals. With sessions still being delivered to local schools they are now working towards a second Waveney U17 team.

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. Pictures: Mick Howes

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament. The U17s.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. The U17s. Pictures: Mick Howes

Waveney American Football
Youth Flag Football Tournament. The U12s.
Pictures: Mick HowesWaveney American Football Youth Flag Football Tournament. The U12s. Pictures: Mick Howes

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