Sioux Center flag football first-graders

First-grader Leo Willits approaches the end zone during flag football Aug. 26. Flag football has seen an increase in participation this year.

SIOUX CENTER—Flag football, a relatively new recreation activity offered by the Sioux Center Recreation Department, has seen a substantial increase in numbers this year.

This is the third year the city has offered flag football for grades three and four and the second year for grades one and two.

Flag football began Aug. 26 and will go on until Sept. 23, meeting once a week on Thursdays. The kids play at the youth soccer fields, just north of the preschool/early childhood center, with grades one and two playing first and grades three and four playing last to better make use of the space.

“We have 77 first- and second-graders and 109 third and fourth graders,” All Seasons Center recreation director Doug Mosher said. Those numbers are right on target for first and second but represent a substantial increase in third- and fourth-graders. “Third and fourth, we had 82 last year.”

It’s hard to say why there is such an increase in those years. Mosher suggested that those class sizes could be larger and that more families are hearing about the flag football program.

“It’s been around a couple of years for families to see what it’s like, if there was any trepidation,” Mosher said.

One perk of the program that the older kids have gotten to enjoy is the participation of Dordt University football players, who act as coaches and referees for the third- and fourth-grade teams.

“The kids love that and it’s been a great partnership,” Mosher said. “It’s been really fun.”

Flag football doesn’t mark the end of the year’s activities. At the end of the month, girls volleyball, open to fifth- and sixth-graders, will begin.

Information about that will be put on the Sioux Center Recreation Department Facebook page, which is also used for updates for ongoing activities, including weather announcements.