Future Wildcats

This spring, approximately 35 students in grades 3-6 took to the fields at Wading River Elementary School to learn the skills of football and participate in the inaugural Community Programs Youth Flag Football Instructional League. The league was started by Bill Denniston and Matt Millheiser, both teachers and coaches in the district. “We recognized the popularity of football in this community and we wanted to provide an opportunity to expose more kids to the game,” Mr. Denniston stated.  

Each week, students were instructed on skills such as throwing, catching, pass patterns, handoffs and defensive techniques. In addition to Mr. Denniston and Mr. Millheiser, current SWR varsity football players were on hand to provide instruction and serve as game officials. “It was great for the high school players to take on leadership roles and be mentors to the younger players,” said Mr. Millheiser, who serves as the current head varsity football coach.    

The league provided a fun environment for players of all skill levels and gave them an opportunity to play in games while getting some good exercise. “Flag football is fast-paced, so the kids get a great cardiovascular workout,” Mr. Millheiser stated. “They have so much fun in the games that they do not think of it as exercise.” Overall, the first year of the league was a success and will look to continue to expand in the coming years.