They may be little, but they are mighty. The 18 players that make up the Grayslake Colts' Flyweight team took to the field Saturday for their first game against Portage Park.
"It's a learning experience," said Chad Connelly, president of the Colts Association. "Putting on their helmet, getting used to the field and getting the entire experience. They are doing fine out there."
The five- and six-year-olds are leaving their mark on the league that has never had players this young. Connelly said they had many inquiries about starting the division, and the Colts realized they had enough players to do so. The Flyweights division is for kids ages six and under and who weigh less than 70 pounds.
The Hardy family of Grayslake was thrilled to hear their youngest, 6-year-old Adam, would be able to play after watching his older brothers for several years.
"He's been excited about it all week," said Adam's dad, Paul Hardy. "It's nice exposure for him and it teaches the kids the basics of playing the game."
Diana Galan's five-year-old Tony was also on the field. "He's been watching his brothers play for so long and he's grown up in football, so we thought it was great when they started the Flyweights."
The Flyweights are coached by Tom Halloran as head coach and assistants Nick Galan, Thomas Halloran, Joe Geary, Austin Thompsen. Players are Ashton Artrip-Borsic, Brandon Bleeker, Dylan Burnett, Grayson Crowe, Leo Foote, Tony Galan, Tyler Graf, Cade Gruber, Liam Halloran, Adam Hardy, Mason High, Carter Joy, Brayden Keeter, Geovanni Palacios, Matthew Ruenz, Mason Ruenz, Trey Sato and Anderson Swigert.
The Colts organization was started in 1968 and is built completely of volunteers including the 70 football and 40 cheer coaches and the 18-member board of directors. 250 girls make up the cheerleading and poms squads. The Colts is part of the TCYFL tackle football league, a travel league which includes teams from as far north as Kenosha and as far south as Plainfield.
The fourteen teams will each play nine regular season games through October, then head into the playoffs.