For any kids who wish to play in the NFL, this could be the first step toward making that dream come true.
NFL Flag Football will have its inaugural season in North Fort Myers starting this month with an eight-week season and a "Super Bowl" pitting the best teams in the area against each other.
Kwame Smith, commissioner of NFL Flag Football in Florida and a former NFL and CFL defensive back, got the idea from a friend he played with while in college at West Virginia.
"It was something we didn't have when I was a kid so I started it up," Smith said, who put together programs in Lee and Charlotte counties as well as in Georgia, although it plays its season in the spring.
NFL Flag Football has been in Wakahatchee in Fort Myers, Lehigh, and has two leagues in Cape Coral and is now expanding to North Fort Myers at the rec center.
So far, registration has been brisk, with nearly 100 children already signed up and more hopefully on the way in hopes of filling up rosters of players between 4 and 13 years old in four age brackets.
Smith said he hopes to have six teams in each age bracket with eight players per team, with five on the field at any one time.
Practice and games are on the same day, which serves as a benefit for the kids and parents, Smith said.
"Parents like the concept because it doesn't obligate them to four or five days a week and it still gets the kids into a nice extracurricular activity," Smith said. "It's no stress for them."
Registration is $115 for the season and includes reversible NFL jerseys, flags and the entire eight weeks and all the activities associated with it.
Play begins Jan. 18, with play ending on March 8 with the "Super Bowl," where they bring all the teams together from Lehigh, Wakahatchee, Ida Baker and Cape Coral to see who the best in Lee County are.
"It's real big. We bring in the Dolphin mascot, we have Snow Cones and a DJ and we hand out all the trophies," Smith said. "Everyone gets a trophy. We try not to single anyone out and make everyone happy."
"I do this for the love of the game and what I can give back to the kids," Smith said. "Someone did it for me, so I'm happy I have an impact on the community, and that's what I tell the coaches. It's about the kids."
For more information, call 349-3509.