Flags on: students take first downs to touchdowns


Photo courtesy of Evan Hammer

WHS students squaring off for a flag football game at Edison field

The flag football tradition at WHS has been revived this fall. Although COVID-19 caused a shift in last year’s plans, this school year has welcomed back the friendly competition between classmates. This is a collaborative league with anyone who wishes to participate and Westfield PAL Football and it has become a weekly Sunday pastime for many WHS students.

WHS spirit and camaraderie are evident in these inclusive flag football games. “Every Sunday there are three games [between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.]. All grades come, and sometimes there are donuts and speakers. It’s all fun and games, but once playoffs hit it’s a different game,” said WHS Senior Mason Laconti.

Commissioner of the PAL high school flag football league, WHS senior Evan Hammer, is in charge of running the games and keeping everything organized. “When I was a freshman, my cousin ran the league and I knew I was probably going to take over when I was a senior,” said Hammer. He continued, “Over the summer he texted me about it; we coordinated with PAL football and from there, I just took it over.”

Hammer devotes a large portion of his week to the cultivation of this fun and entertaining activity. He described his routine, which has led to successful experiences for the boys who play: “Usually on Wednesdays, I’ll send out the weekly schedule for the games and I’ll send out the rankings. Then on Sundays, I’ll usually get to the field an hour early, stay for all of the games, ref all of the games and get some clips. Then when everything’s done I’ll clean it all up.”

Each team consists of about 10-13 people and is led by a coach who is a player on the WHS football team. Senior Aidan Scheper, a varsity wide receiver on the football team, happily accepted his role as one of these coaches.

“As a coach, I just show up and give our team some confidence in the game, trying to keep everything in the game organized,” said Scheper.

While the league is composed mostly of upperclassmen, some underclassmen allow for a blending of grades and healthy recreation. 2021 has been promising, as fall sports have been able to play again, and the opportunities COVID-19 interrupted are once again being integrated into Westfield’s regular routine.