Darling hosts one-day camp and tourney
After failing to advance to the finals in the Bahamas Flag Football League (BFFL) this season, the Heineken Spartans started a quest for redemption and revenge.
The former champions took to the D.W. Davis field on Saturday in the one-day flag football tournament hosted by professional football player Devard Darling and the As One Foundation. The Spartans prevailed as champions with a 7-6 win over the Predators. Also taking part in the double-elimination tournament was a team representing Bahamasair and the Raiders. Even though only four teams participated in the inaugural event, Darling was quite pleased with the level of play demonstrated.
“Just to see how this league (BFFL) has flourished and how it has taken on a new approach, the level of organization, all that is great,” said Darling. “The level of play and the knowledge as well as the way the players executed was very impressive. This was a great idea even though we only had four Bahamian flag football teams from the league out here.
“It was good to see young Bahamians come out here and in Freeport. It was also a pleasure to see the flag football teams come out and play, and have some fun. It is hard to have a compact camp, but we decided to come down and knock it out. We pride ourselves on having a well ran camp so we came out and did it. I was pretty impressive nonetheless.”
Before coming to New Providence, Darling set up camp in Freeport on Thursday. The response, said Darling, was very good with more than 70 kids participating. In the past, Darling and the As One Foundation hosted the camp for several days. Since that was a costly venture, the decision to do it for just one day was made. Now Darling can head home and concentrate on the events surrounding the National Football League (NFL), which he hopes to return to and play.
He added: “Right now I am training. I am healthy, looking good. I played in the UFL (United Football League) last year with the Omaha Nighthawks, but this year I am waiting on this lockout to finish so I can get back in the NFL. I think it is going to end very soon. I think it is going to end, I say, by next week. I think I will be picked up. We will see what team I go to. I don’t know for sure right now but there are some teams out there. We can’t officially do business because we are in the lockout.”
Darling was just the second Bahamian to join the professional football ranks. The wide receiver was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He spent four years with the Ravens before being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. Darling was released by the Chiefs in 2010 and signed with the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League last September. His biggest game in the NFL was against the Cleveland Browns, where caught four passes for 107 yards and scored a touchdown.