Sports

Coach mom: Friday Night Lights first-timer leads flag football squad

On Friday nights this fall, Solana Beach mom Amber Evans took on the role of coach of the Carmel Valley Friday Night Lights flag football league’s Miami Hurricanes. It was definitely a step out of her comfort zone but one she was willing to take for her son and a group of football-loving fifth and sixth grade boys.

“I am not a football person,” laughed Evans. “I played soccer growing up but my kids are so into it and it’s such a fun community of people getting together on Friday nights.”

Evans’ quick ascension to flag football coach came when her son, Tate, and his friends wanted to play Friday Night Lights this season but there was no coach available. Evans had coached soccer before so she thought she would give it a try. With help from her older son, Tyler, and watching a lot of YouTube videos, she got a crash course in flag football, “It was good for my brain to learn something new,” she said.

A dedicated coach, she took her team all the way to the semifinals on Nov. 4.

“Amber has really put her heart and soul into learning the game and creating a solid team. But she also goes above and beyond in other ways like ironing every kid’s name onto their jerseys and shuttling players to and from practices and games,” said team parent Jody Schneider. “Most importantly, she has empowered the boys to take charge during practices and help strategize on game night, giving them all a sense of accomplishment and ownership.”

Coach Evans got unanimous thumbs up from her players, an extremely energetic bunch with nicknames like “Snoopy” and “ B-Man.”

During this fall’s Friday Night Lights Carmel Valley season, the team of Solana Beach boys practiced once a week at La Colonia Park and played its games under the lights at Ocean Air Park or Torrey Pines High School.

The season is short, the first practice was held in mid-September and the season wrapped up the first week of November. The team practices just once a week after school.

“I like football so it’s the exact same but not that dangerous and it doesn’t require much time,” said Hurricane Dylan, who said he is able to play a game he loves with his friends as well as play competitive soccer, which requires two practices a week and games stretching over the weekend.

Still a football newbie, Evans said she is not yet at the point where she’s watching college football on Saturdays and NFL on Sundays, but her season with the young Miami Hurricanes is one she won’t soon forget.

“I encourage anyone that has the time and the enthusiasm to coach,” Evans said. “It’s extremely rewarding.”

Registration for the spring 2018 Friday Night Lights Carmel Valley season is open now. Visit cvfnl.com for more information.

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