Flagging coed fun: Youth flag football league in La Jolla is lacing up for second season

The La Jolla Football ’N’ America coed league will play from September to November.
( Football ’N’ America)

The league, part of Football ’N’ America — co-founded by ex-NFL quarterback Drew Brees — is open to children in kindergarten through sixth grade.


With a game plan focused on “friends, family, football,” the La Jolla Football ’N’ America league is gearing up to kick off its second season.

The coed youth flag football league co-founded by former NFL quarterback Drew Brees is open to children in kindergarten through sixth grade in La Jolla and adjacent communities. The season runs from the weekend after Labor Day in September through the weekend that daylight saving time ends in November.

“We wanted to differentiate ourselves from the typical sports, especially competitively,” said La Jolla Football ’N’ America Commissioner Jake Edwards.

As children are becoming involved in sports at young ages and wanting to specialize in a sport earlier and earlier, Brees believes they can develop as football players without having to put on pads and tackle too soon, Edwards said.

Additionally, he said, Football ’N’ America is a low time commitment, with a one-hour practice and a 45-minute game per week, allowing both for casual players and those who want to advance their skills.

Drew Brees, pictured during his playing days with the New Orleans Saints, co-founded Football ’N’ America in 2017.
(Associated Press)

“Our goal … is to help create lifelong memories for our families and to establish an environment that allows all of our participants, girls and boys alike, to challenge themselves and thrive,” Brees said in an email to the La Jolla Light.

Brees played baseball, basketball and football in high school before going on to a 20-year career in the National Football League with the then-San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints. He encourages playing multiple sports, Edwards said.

Football ’N’ America can benefit the child who is “very seriously thinking about pursuing football in high school” and the one who is committed to soccer but wants to play football with friends, he said.

The league also focuses on parental involvement and a “family atmosphere,” Edwards said. It allows families to indicate the team they’d like to be on.

And with the addition of girls high school flag football as a CIF sport (though it will not yet be offered at La Jolla high schools), “we could not be happier that many of the girls that have played in our California leagues for years will now have the opportunity to compete at the high school level,” Brees said. “It is long overdue and we will continue to be a passionate supporter for girls of all ages playing the great game of flag football.”

Brees, who has a daughter, “pushed for girls to play flag football, and we love having them in the league,” Edwards said. Girls play both on coed teams and all-girls teams.

“A lot of our most successful teams are girls teams,” Edwards said.

Brees and Chris Stuart originated Football ’N’ America in 2017 in New Orleans, where Brees played for the Saints from 2006 through 2020, and quickly expanded to Del Mar, where Brees spends much of his time.

The organization grew to include four more leagues in San Diego County (La Jolla, Carmel Valley, 4S Ranch and Scripps Ranch). Football ’N’ America currently has 23 leagues in seven states, with some chapters offering teams for children as young as pre-kindergarten and as old as 10th grade.

La Jolla Football ’N’ America balls have a sketch of routes for players to practice.
(Jake Edwards)

On each football the league placed what Brees believes is “the universal route tree” — nine routes players can learn and run.

The newest generation of footballs will have a QR code that leads to a website with overhead drone videos of Brees running each route with league players.

Football ’N’ America also uses a patented plastic waistband clip for the flags that makes play “much safer, much easier,” Edwards said.

The La Jolla Football ’N’ America chapter plays games at the Nobel Athletic Fields in University City. Practices are held all over the chapter community. For more information or to register, visit