Marana flag football program wins five national titles - The Explorer: Sports

Marana flag football program wins five national titles

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Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 12:13 pm

When former Marana High School teammates Toby Bourguet and Sean Roebuck agreed to play on a competitive flag football team, little did they know it was going to drastically changed their lives. More importantly, it changed their children’s lives. 

While at that tournament the two longtime friends noticed several youth teams, a few with players the same age as their sons. The two decided to get their kids, as well as the sons of other friends and family members together so the kids and the dads could compete in the same tournaments. Seven years later that team, as well as subsequent teams made up of younger siblings, have won over 600 games, won 10 national titles and countless local, regional and state titles. 

That first team finished second and a year later won their first national title. 

The teams, now sponsored by Bourguet’s company Tucson Turf, had a remarkable year. What was once a single 10U team, is now five youth teams and earlier this year all five teams took home national titles. The Tucson Turf Elite swept all five age groups at the Hike It and Spike It National Tournament in Roswell, NM over Memorial Day weekend. The tournament is the world’s largest flag football tournament and has never had all five youth titles won by the same organization. 

“In all, there were 570 teams and almost 4,000 players on 39 fields in this tournament and teams came from all over the United States,” explained Mike Masunas, who assists with the program. “In addition to the five youth divisions won by Tucson Turf, there were 34 other age divisions for males, females and co-ed teams.”

They also won a single title in 2002 and three titles in 2013. This year’s 15U team has been together since the start and won a national title at the 2007 Deion Sanders National Tournament, another of the biggest tournaments in the world. 

This has been a successful season all the way around for Tucson Turf. In addition to the five titles, the teams won two titles at the 2014 Glendale Big Red Tournament, an NFL sponsored flag football tournament. They also competed in a few different passing league tournaments. Passing league is very similar to flag football, but uses the same format that high school offseason tournaments use. First the U15 team went to Las Vegas and won the Pylon Super Regional 7 on 7 Jr. High Championship.

Then to really test his players, Bourguet took a handful of junior high players, a couple of freshmen to be and went to Show Low to compete in a high school passing league tournament. The team more than held their own, advancing to the semi-finals and further bolstering their confidence. 

The team closed out the summer by heading to California to play in another national tournament. They learned of the tournament late in the summer, and Bourguet already had planned on taking his three sons to the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp in Oregon. The Bourguets flew to southern California from Oregon and met the team there. The impromptu nature of the trip did not seem to mater as they took home another tournament title against teams from across the nation. 

The secret to the team has been continuity. The team has not only plays together year after year, but they have been able to play together in local leagues as well as in the major tournaments. Their success on the field has bred some who resent them, but Bourguet has tried to not only win games, but make Tucson and Marana proud. 

“The thing that I want to tell the people who don’t like us, the haters if you will, is that we take pride in representing Tucson,” Toby Bourguet said. “Every tournament we go to we get compliments about our sportsmanship. Not just the kids, but the parents and coaches as well.

“We learn that good sportsmanship makes you a great man,” said Trenton.”We try to show good sportsmanship during and even after games. That means picking up trash and helping out other teams.”

“We try to team them a lot about life skills, more so than football skills,” the elder Bourguet said. 

That is not to say that football is not a focus. The teams go through detail oriented practices that Toby has dubbed boring, but that repetition pays off on game day. 

“We believe the point of competition is to win,” Bourguet said. “We want to win the right way, with class and good sportsmanship, but we want to win. We’ll pick you up of the ground. We’ll don’t talk trash, but we try to win.”

That continuity, especially for the 15U team, means that they are rarely phased. Last year they rallied from 12 down in the final four minutes during a game at the Roswell Tournament and in Showlow they were down18-0  to Higley, a Phoenix area powerhouse, in the first five minutes, but rallied to win the game 32-32.

“There is no situation that these kids have not overcome over the last 6-7 years,” Toby Bourguet explained. 

The success of these teams could play dividends down the line. The bulk of the 15U team has been playing together at the middle school level and will continue on to Marana High School. Considering they have won at every level they have played at, the future may be bright for the Tigers. 

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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