The Mesivta Football League (“MFL”), a high-school-level interschool flag-football competition which began its inaugural season mid-November of this past year, came to a close on Sunday as top-seeded DRS High School took on third-place Mesivta Ateres Yaakov in a heated final championship game. Amidst the howling winds and the frigid cold, it was a tough day for a strong offensive attack. A throwing game was out of the question, and both teams had to primarily resort to their running games. After the first half, the game had no score as both teams were stellar on defense. However, in the third quarter, DRS quarterback Mikey Frohlinger set up a gorgeous running play that gave DRS the lead with what ended up being the only touchdown of the game. Although MAY gave a strong effort, they could not capitalize, and the game went to DRS, 7—0.
“We ran our league with a Torah-true hashkafah throughout the entire season,” commented commissioner Eliezer “Zezy” Fuld. “Although intensely competitive, calling back a touchdown because a player didn’t have his yarmulke on was a call I didn’t even flinch about making. There was no compromising of our values and the menchlechkeit we demanded from our players.” Founders and administrators Richard Altabe, principal of Yeshivat Shaare Torah of Flatbush, and Rabbi Yossi Bennett, assistant menahel/assistant principal of Mesivta Ateres Yaakov, echoed Mr. Fuld’s remarks.
MVP trophies were presented by Mr. Fuld to Isaac Mizrahi of Yeshivat Sha’are Torah as League MVP and Mikey Frohlinger of DRS as Championship Game MVP.
The goal of this groundbreaking program was to provide a healthy, kosher athletic outlet for mesivta and high-school boys, while maintaining the competitiveness, intensity, and professionalism of an official league. The league was established with a Torah hashkafah about sports. With that being the case, proper sportsmanship and menchlechkeit was consistently a top priority.
Flag football has become an increasingly popular sport, specifically among yeshivos. In Eretz Yisrael, the Kraft Flag Football League is widely popular and draws out over 60 teams from a wide variety of yeshivos and other post-high-school institutions in two separate divisions. The majority of post-high-school yeshivos, which many local graduates attend, field teams in the Kraft League. The Mesivta Football League is proud to bring this activity to the mesivta and high-school arena.
The league expresses its thanks to the four pioneering schools, Mesivta Ateres Yaakov, DRS High School, Yeshivat Shaare Torah, and Yeshiva Darchei Eretz, for a great season and congratulate DRS on their well-deserved win.
Many other mesivtas and yeshiva high schools have already contacted the league about joining next year. The league can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. v