Royall sixth-grade flag football team

The Royall sixth-grade flag football team poses for a photo.

KRISTI VLASAK/Contributed

The Royall sixth-grade flag football team placed first as host in its own tournament and second in the Brookwood tournament this fall.

The flag football coaches are Ryan McKittrick and Ray Wopat.

For Royall students, sixth grade is the final grade of flag football, before student athletes switch to tackle football. “Some of these kids had to play a little bit tackle already because we’re short,” said district administrator Mark Gruen.

The team’s quarterback, Jacob Dragon, also played quarterback for the tackle football team this season.

The team also had a female athlete playing for them, Gruen’s daughter Marah.

“That’s a good group of athletes,” Gruen said.

In the tournaments, Hillsboro, Royall and Brookwood all had two teams competing for the championship.

Royall schools have had a flag football program for third through sixth graders for about seven years.

“We always get a good number of kids,” Gruen said. Gruen is optimistic about the prospects of the incoming sixth grade team, and said they were “very good” athletes.

Next year’s teams will begin practice after summer break, in the fall of 2018.

You can reach Jake Ekdahl on Twitter @JakeaEkdahl