The student news site of Beachwood High School.

The Beachcomber

Breaking News
  • Sep 1, 8:35 amFollow Beachcomber On Instagram @beachcombernews
The student news site of Beachwood High School.

The Beachcomber

The student news site of Beachwood High School.

The Beachcomber

Beachwood Backyard Sports League

By Jordan Krantz, Staff Writer

Backyard Football League Team Photo
Photo by: Marc Eisenberg

It’s Sunday morning, snow is pouring, temperatures are dropping below zero and a certain group of kids is heading outside. These kids are backyard football players, and weather can’t stop them from doing what they love.

“The frozen tundra”, as Al Jacober, Head of Football Operations referred to it, provides a place where backyard footballers can have fun and be themselves. It’s not just a few kids tossing around a football. Rather, it is a “culture”… a “tradition.” Jacober explains that their league has room for, “kids big like Jeremy Margolis to the smallest in the school like David Stern.” Jacober continued, “Moments when Stern can tackle Jeremy are why people live to play every weekend.”

“With the variety of size, speed, and strength, injury could be a problem”, stated Co-Commissioner Andrew Somogyi, “but it isn’t.” Somogyi said that there have not been any serious injuries in two years of playing. BBFL member Nolan Kahn explained, “If you get hurt, get right back up, rub some dirt on it, and you’re ready to go.”

According to Co-Commissioner Somogyi, finding people to play even with a risk of injury is never a problem. Rather than being scared, “Kids want the opportunity to tackle Phil “The Punisher” Keselman, or take on Kevin “Fast” Caputo, regardless of the toll it takes on their body.”

With “living legends” in the league like Matthew “Tank” Riley, Matt Banchek, and Collin Weiss, the club gets “25-30 phone calls about a game” on average. “On more than one occasion I’ve had to call off working for my dad, just to play in a game,” said Kahn. “That kind of dedication is what makes me a top player.”

Nolan’s father, Don Kahn refers to him as a “workhorse” who is always outside working on his game. Mr. Kahn feels that every Sunday game provides a great way for the kids to “just get out there and play. While it’s not the kickball I used to play as a kid,” Mr. Kahn jokes, “It’s pretty darn close.”

The club is based out of Beachwood, but that doesn’t mean that only BHS students compete. Alumni as well as kids from other schools have moved in on the league and schedule to play games all the time. Former Beachwood student and backyard football player Kevin Moss “plays all the time on the oval with friends.” “It’s healthy to wake up on a Sunday morning and just compete,” Moss continued. Moss stated that he has competed with some of the best players to ever step into the backyard action.

“You would be surprised”, he said, “Even with big guys like Kevin Cira, and the elusive ones like the Dronzek brothers, the greatest player I’ve ever seen,” he paused “is Benedictine’s own Andrew Boothe.” “We were pounding on them, when out of nowhere Boothe came by, stepped in the game, played one half and won the game for his team.” “It was amazing. He came, he saw, he conquered, and was never seen since.” Boothe was unavailable for comment.

The only time Moss and his alumni team ever played against current BBFL members was “interesting.” “I believe the score was 42-7” Moss said, laughing, “After the game, he even heard Al Jacober refer to it as the roughest hour and a half of his entire life.”

The BBFL is a great “escape” for kids from their everyday lives. It’s not about the weather, or who is playing, but just about having something they really enjoy doing. If the competition isn’t enough, then the fun is. “At the end of the day,” Somogyi finished, “it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game”.

View Comments (6)
More to Discover

Comments (6)

All The Beachcomber Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Josh SlavisSep 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Jordan, you are the best student and most talented writer I have ever had.

    • A

      adviserSep 22, 2013 at 8:59 AM

      Hi Jordan. Hope you’re doing well.

  • M

    marc kenneth krantzApr 7, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    is there a rematch?

  • M

    marc kenneth krantzDec 19, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    way to go ,jordan! great article!

  • M

    Matt BancheckNov 23, 2009 at 2:06 PM

    Great job Jordi!!!!!

  • V

    Vicki MuschkinOct 22, 2009 at 11:12 PM

    Great job Jordan!!!!!!