SMYFFL History
EST 2005
With us celebrating our 10th year anniversary recently in 2015, we thought that many of you may or may not know the
story or people behind the SMYFFL and where and how it all began. We would like to share our "abbreviated" story of
the SMYFFL and how we started to where we are today.

Back in August of 2005, our family had a very unfortunate experience with a tackle football organization my son was
participating with. After withdrawing our son before the season even officially began, we thought it would be beneficial
for our family and our local community to organize a youth football league unlike anything ever seen before in the
southern Maryland area....a youth NFL Flag Football League. My wife and I never had any experience of running any
sort of an organization, let alone a youth sports league. We wanted to create an environment where kids could enjoy
the pure aspect of having fun and learn the fundamentals without all the pressures and constant reminders of how
important it is to have to win regardless of how its done or the path taken to accomplish.

Thus the SMYFFL was born!  Having played flag football as a youth back in my elementary school days during recess,
I knew how much fun it was and how as a kid I looked forward to playing everyday and the memories I still carry today
as an adult. The question was where do we even begin on starting a flag football league for the community. Being
huge football fans most of our lives, we knew that the NFL had a Flag Football program for kids that had been in
existence for just a few years. After doing extensive research which included two trips out to Ashburn Virginia to visit
the closest NFL league to our area at the time (NOVA FLAG) and wondering if we could even pull it off, we decided to
move forward and become part of one of the fastest growing sports for kids. The million dollar question was once we
finally had everything in place, will anyone want to even play "FLAG" football?

Our goal was to get 10 kids to register for each in-person registration we had scheduled. Having 8 days booked, our
goal was to get a minimum of 80 kids. Could we find 80 families who wanted to tryout this brand new league and would
buy into what we as an organization were trying to do? We held our first 4 registrations outside Safeway in Bryans
Road in early February of 2006. Temperatures were extremely cold and snowy with myself,wife, and two young kids
taking turns sitting inside our truck with the heater running. The employees at Safeway even gave us some hot
chocolate to help keep us warm at times. At the end of our first 4 registrations at Safeway, we had almost 40 players
signed up. So far so good. We were keeping our fingers crossed that our last 4 registration dates would warrant
another 40 kids to reach our minimum goal to have a league.

The final 4 registrations were held at the end of February INSIDE at Modells Sporting Goods in Waldorf (much more
comfortable). It was there where we were surprised to have the lines wrapped around the store and out the door. We
were going to reach our goal for sure and be able to have a league. With an overwhelming response, we ended our
very first registration with 288 kids!
Two hundred more than we ever expected.

Our first season saw 30 teams and it was apparent that southern Maryland's newest youth league was a hit. At the
conclusion of the 2006 Spring season, we had so much positive feedback from families who enjoyed their experience,
that we decided that we would continue to run the league as long as it remained fun for families and that each child
had a Fun and Positive experience while participating in SMYFFL events. This mindset is the foundation on what the
SMYFFL is all about and still is to this day. Today, on average the SMYFFL caters to between 800-1000 kids each
year (Spring and Fall).

Here we are 10 years later and who would of thought we would still be here? The SMYFFL has played a significant role
in mine and my families lives as it is a major part of us. With the league running year round, sometimes our family has
had to make sacrifices to ensure the league is continuously on track to be successful. Many Saturdays dedicated to
solely Flag Football became a way of life for us. Through it all, our family has grown. Immensely! Every season the
SMYFFL family continues to grow and new family members are added. We estimate that we've had close to 10,000
players play in the SMYFFL since its inception back in 2006. Imagine having a Thanksgiving Day Dinner with THAT
many people around the table!

The league has matured over the years and friendly faces have come and gone and lifelong friendships and memories
established on many levels. I'd like to personally thank EVERYONE who has ever contributed to the success of the
SMYFFL. From anyone who has ever coached, was an official, or simply participated in the SMYFFL,
Thank You! We
are extremely happy to have had you either in the past, present or hopefully sometime in the future be a part of the
SMYFFL Family. Its been a pleasure having you and we hope that your experience was in line with the foundation in
which the SMYFFL was established. My family and I have been a part of numerous youth sports leagues prior to
running the SMYFFL, however, having the coaches,referees, and supportive families involved with this league, the
SMYFFL is hands down the BEST youth sports league in Maryland. Thank you for being a part of it and we look
forward to seeing you and your family out at the fields soon.
~Doug Roth

Best Regards,
Reggie Barksdale
SMYFFL President

Dana Bailey
Head of Officiating