Coliseum hosts FIYA flag football finals

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum — home to two Olympics, two Super Bowls, the World Series, and countless other high-profile events — on Dec. 1 hosted a new event: the Foundation for Interscholastic Youth Athletics (FIYA) flag football championships.

In its second year, FIYA provides interscholastic sports leagues for public, private and charter middle schools throughout Los Angeles. This fall, FIYA, whose mission statement is “Strengthening Schools Through Sports” — offered leagues for 18 volleyball and 15 flag football teams.

But it was four Catholic schools who qualified for FIYA Championship Saturday at the Coliseum, a morning that began with rain but turned sunny just long enough for a fun-filled day of football.

The title game saw Our Lady Help of Christians of Los Angeles take on St. Jerome of Westchester. OLHC’s Crusaders got off to a strong start, but St. Jerome’s Spartans did not go quietly, rallying in the second half before the Crusaders’ speed and size proved too much, giving OLHC the championship.

In a tight third place game, St. Anastasia’s Panthers of Westchester took a six-point lead over Holy Trinity’s Chargers of San Pedro, but Holy Trinity scored in the second half to go ahead by one point. The Panthers responded with a long march down the field, only to see the Chargers’ goal line defense hold on fourth down inside the 10 in the final minute.

Despite the loss, St. Anastasia’s Mike Fissinger summed up the day’s events well, telling his teammates in the huddle, “This is a day we will never forget,” a sentiment that could be echoed by all present for this special occasion.

January 4, 2012

To find out more about FIYA, visit www.onfiya.org.



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