This past weekend, the Eatonville Junior Cruisers Football Organization kicked off its annual flag football program for child athletes in Eatonville. Junior Cruiser football coaches, board members, a few parents and current Eatonville High School football players all volunteered at the event. 

The groups mixed it up a bit this year by holding a combined warm-up to kick it off, taking a note from the NFL. After a 20-minute stretching session to get all participants warmed up to prevent injury, there were four stations set up that each player would go through. They checked each players' 40-yard time and also their three-cone drill time, just like they do at the NFL combine. Afterward, the players went to a passing station for evaluation where they threw two short passes to a receiver to their left and then two passes to their right. They then threw two long passes to their left and right. The final station was for the receivers. Each player was thrown two short passes to the left and two to the right. They then were thrown two long passes to each side as well. All scores and time were compiled.

Then on Monday, April 15, Junior Cruiser Board President Corey Simons met with a group of the Eatonville High School players to conduct a draft. They all studied the scores and evaluations from the combine and then drafted players based on those evaluations to form their teams. Each team consists of six or seven players. The teams will begin a five-on-five tournament on April 27.

There will be two age divisions with a bracket-style tournament that will span four consecutive Saturdays, culminating on May 18 where the champion of each division will be crowned.

"The goal is for both the kids and high school players to have a fun competition while playing flag football," Simons said.  "Each age group will end up with a champion. Depending on time and bracket play we plan on also having a lineman, trench and skills day".

For more information on the Junior Cruisers Football Organization and its flag football program visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ejcfootball.