Football ‘N’ America in Carmel Valley Kicks Off
New Orleans Saints Quarterback, Drew Brees has returned to San Diego, setting his sights on Carmel Valley for his co-ed youth flag football league, Football ‘N’ America (FNA). Brees believes that FNA is the best way for boys and girls in Kindergarten through 8th grade to learn about football in a non-contact, co-ed, family-friendly and community-focused league. This is the 7th FNA league to have been implemented across the country since its inception with the Carmel Valley/Del Mar league having selected the Challenged Athletes Foundation as the recipient of some of the funds from the league this year.
“I’m very excited to bring it to San Diego,” said Brees, who started his career as a San Diego Charger and still resides in Del Mar in the off-season with his wife, Brittany, three sons Baylen, Bowen, and Callen, and daughter, Rylen.
FNA held its first flag football camp on the San Diego Polo Fields on Feb. 24 with the inaugural spring season beginning on March 11th with games being played on Friday nights. More than 600 kids have signed up to play already with nearly 30 coaches of varying experience levels in attendance.
Brees’ New Orleans Saints teammate (and Helix High School and USC Trojans alumni) Reggie Bush and retired NFL wide receiver Greg Camarillo (who is also very active in the Scripps Ranch community) take part in teaching the players their vast knowledge of the game. The coaching staff is also comprised of 14 varsity football players from Torrey Pines High School, members of the Torrey Pines and Santa Fe Christian football staffs, and former college football players. As a father, Brees feels strongly about making sure coaching in his league is as easy as possible for any parent that has the time and desire to get involved.
Players learn how to hold the ball with three points of pressure, to respect their team as well as their opponents and most importantly, how to have fun. Through non-contact flag football, FNA offers a safe way for kids to learn and play the game of football. FNA is a 6 vs. 6 league that does not feature kickoffs and Quarterbacks are not allowed to run with the ball. Spinning and jumping are permitted for a ball carrier but no diving, blocking tackling, or stripping of the ball is allowed. All players are required to wear a protective mouthpiece for safety purposes as well.
“This sport teaches so many life lessons. I’ve learned so much from the game of football: about team work, hard work, commitment and overcoming obstacles.” – Drew Brees