Jun 8, 2014 8:15 PM by KVOA Sports
How did you spend your Memorial Day weekend? A handful of local youth showed the nation the Old Pueblo has championship-caliber athletes.
"It's passing league football, not hand it to fastest kid and everyone chases him," said Toby Bourget of Tucson Turg Elite. "The point is to get everyone involved."
Flag football remains popular across the country, but don't mistake it for your 3rd grade gym class. This level is competitive. So competitive in fact, the Tucson Turf Elite use practice to propel their play.
"Nothing beats drilling and sometimes our practices are boring," admitted Bourget, "but we teach kids to catch the football, run correct routes and the results speak for themselves."
The results are national championships - five to be exact. Tucson Turf Elite brought five national championships back from the Hike It and Spike It national tournament in Roswell, New Mexico. TTE entered youth teams in the 8, 10, 12, 14 and 15U divisions winning each, which was a first in the 19 years of the tournament.
Coben, Trenton and Teon each play for Tucson Turf Elite and helped the program bring those five championships back to the Old Pueblo.
"It was an amazing experience," they said. "To be able to play football for the weekend, in front of your family and friends, plus to win 5 national titles was an amazing experience."
Soaking up the sights and sounds makes the trip well worthwhile. It's the largest flag football tournament in the world, packing Roswell, New Mexico with people from every corner of the country. Imagine a theme park with flag football sprinkled in. And every athlete has their favorite part.
"The atmosphere, like hanging out with your friends. Playing with friends. Seeing your family there supporting you and being able to win a national title. I like hearing the people screaming your name," said the athletes.
"If you took the best football experience and you combine that with state fair, that's what it's like," added Toby.
The Tucson Turf Elite program will hold the "Tucson Turf Summer Challenge" with athletes from 4th to 8th grade able to participate. For more information, check out the Tucson Turf Elite program on its Facebook page at the link below.
Click for Tucson Turf Elite Facebook page.