Oswego Flag Football’s Quest for NIRSA

What happened to the Fall Tournament?

If you have been keeping up with Oswego flag football, or you saw my last blog post you may be wondering what happened with the tournament that Oswego was supposed to play in on the weekend of November 10th. The president of the Flag Football team Dylan Zielinski made the decision not to go to the fall tournament and instead plan on going to the tournament in the Spring. The date for the Spring Tournament is still to be determined, but it will still take place in the University of Maryland.

Map of all of the NIRSA regional Tournaments (Region 1 in Maryland is the one referred to in the text)

Why did Oswego not enter the tournament?

The decision was made for a variety of different reasons. One reason is because there were a lot of questions that Oswego needed answers to regarding the logistics of the tournament, and NIRSA did not communicate very well, which left planning to be very chaotic for Oswego. Another reason they decided not to join the tournament is because the weekend of the tournament had conflict with a lot of players schedules, and they were unable to put together a competitive enough roster to send to NIRSA. The final reason was because President Dylan Zielinski felt like the team was not ready to compete for the tournament and needed more preparation. All of these factors combined led to the decision not to attend the tournament this fall. 

Preparation:

The Oswego Flag Football Team started out practicing at the beginning of the Fall semester. They practiced every Monday and Tuesday from 5-7 PM. Once the daylight started going out sooner, practice times were changed to 4:30-6:30. Then, after the clocks were pushed back an hour for daylight savings, the practice time was moved again to just an hour long from 4-5 PM. This was a part of the struggle of getting enough preparation to be competitive in a tournament environment. 

At practices the team would go over the plays and run various drills to help improve their players. For the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and corners, they would run one on ones, where the receivers lined up against the corners and the quarterback would try to complete a pass to his receiver. For the linebackers, safeties, running backs and lineman they would do Oklahoma drills, which are one on one drills where a defensive player would line up against a ball carrier and try to grab the ball carrier’s flag before they got into the endzone. At the end of every practice the players would get split up into 2 teams and scrimmage for the last 30-45 minutes of practice. This helped the players gain more confidence and raise their competitive spirit. Some of the scrimmages would get chippy between the two teams, but it was in the competitive nature of the game, and was never personal. 

Picture of everybody in the middle of the field getting ready for the team's first practice

Here you see a picture of one of Oswego’s flag football practices.

Who are the Coaches:

The president of the club Dylan Zielinski organizes all of the behind-the-scenes stuff associated with being the leader of the club, but he is also the QB of the team. There is no offensive coordinator for the team, but Dylan and the head coach Kenny Girard, are the ones that are creating plays and calling them on the field. The defensive coordinator for the team is Jake Tutuska, who also plays linebacker for the team. 

Spring Tournament:

As for preparation for the Spring Tournament, practices will start up once again during the spring semester, after the players come back from winter break. They will continue practicing and getting better every single practice. There will also be another intramural league that starts up in the Spring, and it will be a similar format to the last one. This is another way for the teams to see live action against other teams. The team is also looking around to see if any other schools would be interested in scrimmaging Oswego, just like they did earlier in the Fall against RIT. 

Podcast with Dylan Zielinski