Friday Night Lights

It’s still spring, not fall, but football players and cheerleaders still gathered in Los Alamitos to play under the hot white lights.The largest one-night, one-location youth spring football competition in the United States opened its spring season playoffs at Oak Middle School on Friday, April 19. That’s right, the Los Alamitos-Seal Beach league of Friday Night Lights Youth Flag Football League set record-breaking numbers as 1,200 players, from grades 1-8, comprised the 125 different teams that attempted to advance to the next round.In all, 84 games were played in a single night, with 81 teams being eliminated. The competition, which began at 4:30 p.m., finally wrapped at about 10:30 p.m. To accomplish this feat, the field was turned over for a new game every 50 minutes, with multiple games – as many as 14 – going on at the same time.The league also features cheerleading squads. The Los Alamitos-Seal Beach league's cheerleading branch is lead by Annette Morris.Friday Night Lights Youth Flag Football was started in 2006 by Mark Broersma and Chris Ketcham and now has over 12,000 players participating in seven leagues throughout Southern California.In all, 44 teams from four divisions advanced to the quarterfinal round.First/Second Grade Division teams that advanced include the Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, and Atlanta Falcons.Third/Fourth Grade Division winners were the Kansas St. Wildcats, Purdue Boilermakers, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Oklahoma St. Cowboys, USC Trojans, TCU Horned Frogs, Kansas Jayhawks, and Oklahoma Sooners.Fifth/Sixth Grade Division teams advancing include the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Stanford Cardinals, Auburn Tigers, Arkansas Razorbacks, Texas Longhorns, Kansas St. Wildcats, Colorado Buffaloes, Oregon Ducks, LSU Tigers, Wisconsin Badgers, Oregon St. Beavers, Iowa Hawkeyes, USC Trojans, Alabama Crimson Tide, Cal Bears, and Arizona St. Sun Devils.Seventh/Eight Grade Division winners include the Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings.The second round will be held on Saturday, April 27.For more information, visit

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