Southlake Titans Crowned 2015 Flag Football State Champions
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The Southlake Titans, a flag football team comprised of players from Durham, Eubanks and Westlake, secured their third Texas State Championship in Burnet, Texas. Under the direction of Coach Carlos Reyes and Assistant Coaches Russell Maryland and Jeff Blanchard, the Titans competed against the best flag football teams from across the state in the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF) tournament.
The Titans formed in 2010 with six core players: Max Reyes, Eric Blanchard, RJ Maryland, Avyonne Jones, Ben Estis and Carson Wert. All six are still on the Titans after five years. Seventeen athletes compete regularly with the team, and 13 made the trip to this year’s tournament.
Coach Reyes has coached the Titans since their inception. “Our motto for the team is P-R-I-D-E. I began teaching them these five directives when we started in 2010. Pull the flag. Run till the whistle blows. Intensity...no mental mistakes. Defense wins championships. Expect the ball to come to you every play,” says Reyes.
The Titans have also won nine Southlake Parks and Recreation (SLPR) City Championships, winning every season except for Spring 2013. This fall, SLPR began a new flag football format of 6v6 through Under Armour. It became an all-pass league, and though Reyes says it took the Titans some time to get accustomed to the passing, it ultimately helped the players improve their game and win state.
“The keys to our success are each player has to be versatile … play offense and defense. They must play different positions. They must be mentally tough and execute,” Reyes says. “They are tremendous ‘ball hawks.’”
The Titans’ overall flag record since 2010 is 99 wins and 12 losses. Since 2012, they have only had four losses. Eight losses came in the first two years of playing flag football, when the players were still learning the game.
“These boys are tremendous competitors and do whatever it takes to win,” says Reyes. “I am very proud of them for working hard every practice and growing mentally tougher every day. They are becoming young men and students of the game.”
To the parents and fans, Reyes says: “I want to thank all the Titans who have played with us and their parents for bringing them to games and practices. It takes a village to keep a team together, and we are all united in our common goals … to learn the game, get better every day and put the team first.”
The Titans were named by Reyes’ oldest son, Kyle, when he played flag football. His inspiration? The Disney movie, “Remember the Titans.” The Titans not only play flag football; they play basketball together in the off-season as well.
“These boys have played together season after season. They allowed us to pick up the next season right where we left off. They have formed tremendous friendships and won several state championships together,” says Reyes. “It is tough to win a state championship; they have won three. They are a special group of Titan boys and Titan families. They will remember these times the rest of their lives.”