The NFL Pro Bowl Games isn't the only event the league is hosting in Las Vegas, they also hosted a NFL Flag Championships featuring the top girls' and boys' youth flag teams from across the country and around the world.
The youth flag football teams were separated into coed, girls or recreational divisions and ranged from 8-17 years old. Each flag football team also either represented their country or one of the 32 NFL club teams. The New England Patriots had ten flag football teams representing the club.
"We are very grateful for the support from the Patriots. We [Athena Warriors] have actually won the regional two years in a row. They have been very supportive of us and we actually got a letter from Andre Tippett, he was like LT [Lawrence Taylor] to me, so it was very nice." - said Athena Athletics head coach Tim Quinn.
Quinn and his wife have four daughters and started a flag football league with a friend and their children. In Las Vegas, Athena Warriors had 12u, 14u and 17u teams playing in the championship. "We started with four girls and now over 350 girls have played flag football for us and we are so blessed to be able to work with them," said Quinn.
Two of the Athena Warriors 14u team captains, Tessa Wieloch and Keira Quinn, have been playing flag football for a few seasons.
Wieloch was initially a figure skater and was introduced to the sport by a friend who recommended it to her after she stopped skating. Keira Quinn on the other hand was intrigued to play after watching her sibling play the sport.
"My brother played and the girls couldn't play with them. So we started our own league to try and go to Disney for nationals but now nationals are in Vegas so it just grew from there," said Keira Quinn.
In addition to family and friends traveling to Las Vegas to support their loved ones in the flag football championships, Patriots Pro Bowl Games selection, Matthew Judon, and Patriots Pro Bowl Cheerleader Victoria McAleer were on site to support the teams, take photos and sign autographs.
"Having two daughters myself it's great to see the advancement of the sport, seeing that anybody can do whatever they want and also people creating an avenue for it," said Patriots Linebacker Matthew Judon.
To find a NFL Flag Football Youth League near you visit: playfootball.nfl.com
For more on the NFL Flag Football Championships in Las Vegas visit: nflflag.com