Lopes reach semis of Adult Flag Football League playoffs
By: Mack Drake/GCU Staff
Justice Guerrero wasn’t sure what to expect when he decided to start a spring flag football team for the first time in Grand Canyon University Club Sports history.
The GCU Men’s Flag Football head coach was pleasantly surprised with the results, and has designs on developing the program in the years to come.
GCU went 3-7 in the regular season, but Guerrero and his teammates reached the semifinals in the Adult Flag Football League playoffs before being eliminated with a 14-7 loss last weekend in Scottsdale.
The verdict on the inaugural spring season?
“I thought it went well,” said Guerrero, a player-coach who opened the season as the team’s quarterback before suffering an ankle injury. “We had some new players on the team who didn’t play in the fall, so there was an adjustment we had to make. We had to adjust our offense and add some different plays in. We had some guys who hadn’t really played football before, so it was fun to see those guys out there playing.”
GCU’s first spring season started in March with Guerrero adding many new players to the roster. The Lopes played in the Adult Flag Football 8 on 8 league with games taking place every Saturday at Chaparral Park in Scottsdale.
The Lopes started the season slow, but the team won its last two games entering the playoffs. GCU lost two games by six points or less, including two defeats suffered in overtime.
Along with Guerrero, the spring roster included Tre Stevens, Jake Waldron, JT Best, Kalani Inez, Tim Cruz, Michael Wilson and Justin Durrett.
The competition was fierce, and often rough. Playing in an adult league, GCU squared off with older players that were more experienced. Guerrero said the offensive line play, in particular, was almost as physical as tackle football.
“The standard setup is five guys on the offensive line, a quarterback and two guys who can act as receivers or running backs,” Guerrero explained. “The offensive line can be pretty physical; those guys really get after it. The handplay and shoulder checking is a factor.
“We played against guys who were older and had been together for longer. They knew their plays inside and out and had a lot of team chemistry. One of our games was against a team of firefighters.”
Not only does Guerrero plan to keep the spring season alive at GCU, he plans to expand it.
“We’re hoping to have two teams ready to go for next spring,” Guerrero said. “We’d like to have one for fun and one for competitive purposes. I would say this spring’s team was out there to have fun and we definitely did that. It was a lot of fun, especially for the first time playing in the spring with a new roster.”
Until then, the fall flag football season is just around the corner.
Interested in joining GCU Men’s Flag Football? Check out the team page to learn more!