River Cities Gazette

Medley police department inaugurates sports program

 
 
The Medley police department kicked off its inaugural sports program at VG Field as Ariel Garcia breaks away from Sammy Camacho as Rafael Valdes (far left) and Medley police officer Norma Young pick up speed.Â
The Medley police department kicked off its inaugural sports program at VG Field as Ariel Garcia breaks away from Sammy Camacho as Rafael Valdes (far left) and Medley police officer Norma Young pick up speed.Â
Gazette Photo/THEO KARANTSALIS

River Cities Gazette

The Medley Police department kicked off its first inuagural flag football program on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Virginia Gardens Park.

The program, dubbed “Let It Fly,” is the brain child of Medley police officer Angel Perez, who joined the force 11 months ago. 

“Angel came up with the idea after our hoop-it-up basketball event last spring,” said Medley police chief Jeanette Said-Jinete. “There are two officers and five teenagers on each team.”

The four teams had custom-made colorful jerseys with their names on the back.  Each had colorful names, too, like Rainmakers, Ravens, Titans and Dolphins. 

Said-Jinete expects the friendly, flag football match to be played among Medley youth at least once a year.  However, she added other cities could join in.

“We would welcome the competition,” she said.

The games were limited to 20 minutes each with halftime after 10 minutes.  Near the bleachers, parents were served hot dogs and cotton candy by city officials.

The town hired a DJ to play music as council members danced wearing special football jerseys with their names on them and the numbers “00.”

Some lightheartedly joked whether the referees could be objective. The three included Medley Police Lt. Jack Young, Lt. Julio Chardon and Sgt. Chris Little. 

“Too many of us sit around and just watch TV,” said Hennessy Sepulveda, 13, who played wide receiver. “It is good to get out and move around.”

Surprisingly, many of the players were female.

“We practiced with the guys,” said Kasandra Milian, 14, another wide receiver, who put streaks of black paint under her eyes to help deflect the sun. “We are just as confident as they are about winning.”

Though the Titans walked away as the champs after they beat the Ravens 9-7 in “overtime,” the teens bonded with local officials in a way that makes living in a small town so extraordinary. 

The big winner, according to Medley mayor Roberto Martell, is the community. Medley credits its “near zero” crime rate to close interaction between officials and area youth. 

“This is something very good for all the kids in our city,” said Martell, who attended the event with council members Edgar Ayala and Griselia Digiacomo. “I thank the police department and all the kids for what we have accomplished.”

Martell also hinted that he would like to see Medley look into developing its own football field for future activities.  Medley youth traveled by bus to Virginia Gardens, about two miles away, to play the match.

“I would like to start looking at having one in our city,” said Martell. “I think we could get it done.”

 

Read more River Cities stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK