It's no doubt that having the most players of any team selected to the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl in Orlando was one of the highlights of the Chargers' 2018 season.
Fans know by now that the league's annual all-star exhibition game is set to feature some big-name Bolts including Derwin James, Mike Pouncey and Keenan Allen among others.
However, there's another group of Chargers also heading to Florida to showcase their skills next week.
That's because Orlando also plays host to the 2019 NFL Flag Championships powered by USA Football. Teams from across the country that qualified for the national championships by winning regional tournaments hosted by USA Football in NFL club markets will play for their respective championships in divisions that include ages 9-10 co-ed, 11-12 co-ed, 13-14 boys and 13-14 girls.
The 66 teams participating in the NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl will wear jerseys representing each of the NFL's 32 clubs. This year, there are two teams donning the lightning bolt, the age 9-10 co-ed Chargers from Play Sports Hawaii, and the age 13-14 Chargers from the Matt Leinart Flag Football League in Orange County. Both teams' flights were paid for courtesy of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Players and coaches will arrive Thursday, Jan. 25, for a three-day trip to Orlando to compete in the tournament. Teams will also get to watch the players they idolize first-hand as they'll attend the Pro Bowl as well.
"We just want to thank the Los Angeles Chargers for the great honor to represent them," said Jeffray Harper, Head Coach of the 13-14 Chargers. "We going to conduct ourselves on and off the field in a manner that will make them proud. And, we are in it to win it!"
"I remember our Coach saying, 'I can't promise championships, but I can promise progress,'" added Coen Makinney, Team Captain for the 9-10 Play Sports Hawaii Chargers. "This stuck in our heads, and everyday coming to practice we were excited to learn and grow as players. Growing up in Hawaii, we play the same 4-5 teams throughout the year. We save up all year to travel once or twice to the mainland to play in tournaments. Being able to make it to the next level shows hard work pays off."
The NFL Flag Championships will take place Friday, Jan. 25 through Saturday, Jan. 26, with the 13-14 boys final serving as the main halftime entertainment during the Pro Bowl on Sunday.