Beacon College’s Bryce Garg rises to haul in a touchdown against the University of Tampa. (Photo courtesy of Stetson University)
The Beacon College Flag Football Club stormed into Stetson University with high hopes of elevating the team’s fortune.
Yet, while Navigators soared and elevated their individual play, Team Beacon fell short in its appearance in the American Flag Football League Inaugural Collegiate Tournament at Stetson University’s Rinker Field in DeLand, Fla.
Staged by the American Flag Football League, which bills itself as the first and preeminent professional flag football league in the United States, AFFL sought to gauge the interest of college-level teams with a trial tournament, said Kyle Close, Beacon College coordinator of club and recreational sports.
“Our experience with the AFFL was positive and we hope that other teams join the league next year so that we can begin a league,” he said.
In the meantime, Team Beacon played four games with similar outcomes:
Game 1: Lost to Stetson University 47-13
Game 2: Lost to USF 42-18
Game 3: Lost to U of Tampa 32-20
Game 4: Lost to Stetson 35-19
“This is our first-year having a flag football team and this is our first semester playing in an all men’s league. We competed against three top-tier teams and with odds against us, and we showed them that Beacon College should be taken seriously and respected,” said Beacon head coach Matthew Harding. “I am very proud of these young men. It is special to see the team grow into a family and encourage and uplift each other on and off the field.
The scores are wildly misleading. Team Beacon was competitive in each contest — within one or two scores — with 10 minutes or less in each game.
“The best thing about [the tourney] is everyone genuinely had a fun and amazing time,” Harding said.