Alex Gonzalez
Hometown: Great Neck, N.Y. Age: 15 Grade: 10th
School: Great Neck South High School
Name of NFL FLAG team: Giants
Years playing football: 5
Favorite position(s) to play: Quarterback and wide receiver
Favorite NFL Team: N.Y. Jets
Favorite NFL player(s): Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller
Favorite tailgate food: Hamburger
How did you become interested in playing football? My friends introduced me to NFL FLAG, and it looked like a lot of fun so I joined.
What have you learned through playing football that you didn’t expect? NFL FLAG teaches you the importance of leadership and teamwork.
What do you like best about playing football? Playing NFL FLAG just lets you have fun when you are playing.
What are your best football skills? Throwing the football and catching it. Obviously, the two important things to be good at when playing quarterback and wide receiver.
What makes a great football coach? A good coach should be down to earth with his players, encourage them to play their best and know how to connect with his team.
What would you tell someone who isn’t sure if they should play football? You will have a great time. NFL FLAG has allowed me to make lots of new friends and given me the chance to play competitively against kids from around the New York and New Jersey area.

Coach Danny Batista
Name of League: North Shore Flag Football League
Name of Team: NSFFL Patriots Occupation: Phlebotimist
Hometown: Beverly, MA Years Coaching Football: 5
Skill Most Needed to Coach: Patience
Favorite All-Time Football Coach: Bill Walsh
Favorite Tailgate Food: Cheeseburgers
Favorite Football Movie: Remember the Titans
How did you become interested in coaching football? I’ve always had a strong passion for football, stemming from my playing days in high school. My nephew talked me into coaching his team as they were not able to get a coach. I fell in love with it and have enjoyed it ever since.
What have you learned through coaching football that you didn’t expect? The responsibility alone is something that surprised me. Coaching FLAG is like a full time job, from coordinating with parents, teaching, every detail involves a lot of responsibility.
What has been your greatest accomplishment in coaching football? I have one kid in my program who never touched a football until two years ago. Now he is arguably one of the top players in the league. I am proud to have helped him become one of the best.
What would you tell someone who is considering coaching football? Just do it, it is a lot of fun. There are some times every year when you want to quit, but I always find myself coming back for more!

Carola Pellegrino
Age: 13 Name of NFL FLAG team: Seahawks
Grade: 8th School: Valley View (Denville, NJ)
Hometown: Denville, NJ Years Playing Football: 4
Favorite Position to Play: RB
Favorite NFL Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Favorite NFL Player: Troy Polamalu
Favorite Tailgate Food: Hamburger
How did you become interested in playing football? My brother played football when he was little, and I would always practice with him and fell in love with the game.
What have you learned through playing football that you didn’t expect? Football involves a team effort. It doesn’t matter if you have the ball or not, you still need to work as a team.
What do you like best about playing football? You get to meet new people and make lots of new friends.
What are your best football skills? Cutting and running with the ball.
What makes a great football coach? A great football coach should be sincere and kind, and definitely have patience.
What would you tell someone who isn’t sure if they should play football? Give it a try! It is a lot of fun and even if you think you are not good at it, you can still learn and try your best.
What should people know about girls who play football? Sometimes, girls are just tougher than boys!

Coach Rafael Enriquez
Name of League: Southgate Parks and Recreation
Name of Team: Southgate Raiders
Occupation: Community Involvement Representative
State of Residence: Sacramento, CA
How long have you coached football? 12 Years
Skill most needed to coach: Patience and learning how to breakdown the proper development of each age group that you coach.
Favorite all-time football coach: Bill Walsh
Favorite Tailgate Food: Hot Dogs or Hot Links
Favorite Football Movie: Rudy
Favorite Football Book: Right now I am reading Al Davis’ book, “Just Win, Baby.” It has been pretty enjoyable to read so far.
Pregame routine/ritual: Nothing too extreme, but I like to make sure my players are ready and loose for the game. We run our agilities, stretch and run routes and work on catching the ball.
How did you become interested in coaching football? I played football in high school and college and wanted to continue to be a part of the game. I have 2 sons,and one of them always wanted to throw the ball all the time because he was a quarterback. NFL FLAG is the only outlet there is to throw the ball on every play. I taught my children the game and eventually it led me to wanting to teach others. I am working on getting my daughter ready for NFL FLAG!
What have you learned through coaching football that you didn’t expect? Sometimes it can be hard to get a parent to buy into their kids taking part in NFL FLAG, but once they see how much fun the kids have and how beneficial it can be in a sense of exercise and having fun, it is a rewarding feeling. Its almost like you are coaching the parents as well by educating them on the benefits of the game.
What has been your greatest accomplishment in coaching football? A few accomplishments. Being able to mold my son into MVP of his high school was a great feeling. Just getting to see all of my children grow with the sport of football has been rewarding for me. I have also had several of my former players go on to play football in college.
What would you tell someone who is considering coaching football? It certainly has its ups and downs, but there is no better feeling in the world then being a part of the growth process for these children. Just have fun with it!

Ruby Galvan
Age: 10 Name of NFL FLAG team: Santa Cruz Panthers
Grade: 5th School: Ann Soldo Elementary School
City, State of Residence: Watsonville, CA
Years Playing Football: 5 Favorite position to play: WR
Favorite NFL Team: San Francisco 49ers
Favorite NFL Player: Takeo Spikes
Favorite Tailgate Food: Ham or Turkey and Cheese Sandwich
How did you become interested in playing football? When I was growing up I always watched my brother player so he influenced me to play NFL FLAG.
What have you learned through playing football that you didn’t expect? That it’s not always about winning, it’s all about having fun!
What do you like best about playing football? You get to meet kids from other states and make new friends.
What are your best football skills? My spin move and my route running. My best routes are my slants and post patterns!
What makes a great football coach? Someone who is responsible and cares about all the kids on the team.
What would you tell someone who isn’t sure if they should play football? It is a lot of fun, you get to meet a bunch of kids from other states and it is great exercise!
What should people know about girls who play football? That we are smart and fast!

Sandor Rene Rodriguez
Age: 13 Name of NFL FLAG team: Watsonville Raiders
Grade: 7th School: Moreland Notre Dame School
City, State of Residence: Salinas, CA
Years Playing Football: 5 Favorite position to play: WR
Favorite NFL Team: San Francisco 49ers
Favorite NFL Player: Frank Gore
Favorite Tailgate Food: Tacos
How did you become interested in playing football? My friends convinced me to play. I was playing soccer and basketball as well but this looked like more fun.
What have you learned through playing football that you didn’t expect? As a soccer player, I was surprised to learn that you run more than you think you would when playing FLAG.
What do you like best about playing football? Scoring Touchdowns!
What are your best football skills? Catching the ball with my hands and not in my chest.
What makes a great football coach? Someone that is supportive, knows the game well and can teach it to me and my teammates.
What would you tell someone who isn’t sure if they should play football? It is a great experience playing NFL FLAG and every kid should think about playing it!