Blog 2017-03-29T11:52:50+00:00

NIRSA Play Blog

  2016 Year in Review

  Game Recaps and Highlights

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NIRSA Flag Football Championships
Tournament Info




News from NIRSA Headquarters

Apply to host a 2017 regional soccer tournament

Do you and your campus colleagues want to be a part of something new and exciting? Consider hosting a 2017 NIRSA Championship Series regional soccer tournament—applications are now available! Hosting a NIRSA Championship Series event requires dedication, but

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NIRSA supports inclusive environments for transgender individuals

On February 22, 2017, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice issued a Dear Colleague Letter that rescinded protections for transgender students at all levels of federally-funded institutions.
The guidance issued in this letter reverses the

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NIRSA Championship Series Soccer is looking for regional coordinators

Applications to serve as a regional coordinator for NIRSA Championship Series Soccer are now open. We currently have openings in Regions I, III, IV, and V. We are in an exciting time for NIRSA soccer,

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Host a 2017 NIRSA Regional Flag Football Championship

Hosting a NIRSA Championship Series event is an experience that requires a great deal of time and resources, but it’s also very rewarding and comes with a flood of fantastic benefits. Hosting gives your community an

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Read all about the amazing 2016 NIRSA Flag Football Championships

The United States Postal Service has a creed: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Well, neither rain nor cold nor

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NIRSA officials spotlight: Steven Anderson



No matter how many NBA games or internationally-acclaimed tournaments Steve Anderson officiates, he can be found at the University of Central Florida at the start of every fall. Steve is one of the most successful

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31 Students Earn All Tournament Honors

Valdosta State’s Lance Jarriel captured two MVP awards with outstanding performances in both the men’s and co-rec divisions while UCF’s Tati DeAraujo captured her third consecutive MVP award in the women’s division to lead a group of 21 players and 10 officials named to the All-Tournament Teams at the 2016 NIRSA Flag Football National Championships in Pensacola.

Co-Rec All-Tournament Team
Lance Jarriel, Valdosta State (MVP)
Kymesha Andrew, Mississippi State (MVP)
Courtney Carter, Valdosta State
Tara Dambach, Valdosta State
Tripp Thompson, Valdosta State
TT Jenkins, Valdosta State
Tony Andrew, Mississippi State
Devon Wilde, Angelo State

Women’s All-Tournament Team
Tati Dearujo, UCF (MVP)
Megan O’Hara, UCF
Tiffiany Ellick, North Carolina A&T
La’Quana Hordge, North Carolina A&T
Lionesha Dales, Southern
Lorrie Potts, Angelo State
Ashley Clark, Howard

Men’s All-Tournament Team
Lance Jarriel, Valdosta State (MVP)
Wes Carter, Valdosta State
Justin Brown, Valdosta State
Tyler Chacon, USF
Nick Gimbrone, USF
Casey Braun, Georgia College
Mitch Risley, Georgia College

All-American Officials
Kaulin Andric (Georgia)
Landon Cammack (Georgia Southern)
Logan Cammack (Georgia Southern)
Jessica Gilbert (Georgia)
Cody Huth (Ohio State)
Matt Kirkham (Angelo State)
Nathan Lawless (Ohio)
Nic Matthews (Georgia Southern)
Kyle White (Campbell)
Dan Wrenholt (Indiana)

Valdosta State Wins Men’s and Co-Rec National Titles

Valdosta State captured its third consecutive men’s championship with a thrilling overtime win over USF this afternoon, following up its co-rec national championship victory over Mississippi State to start the day at the 2016 NIRSA Flag Football National Championships in Pensacola.

In an epic men’s national championship matchup, Valdosta State Nikes used a strong defensive effort in the 4th quarter and overtime to shut down a talented USF squad and prevail 27-21.  USF The Company jumped out to an early 14-0 lead on a 45 yard run by Nick Gimbrone just 2 minutes into the game.  After an interception by Roberto Rodriguez, quarterback Tyler Chacon hit Rodriguez on a 37-yard TD strike to put USF 14-0.

Valdosta State turned up the defensive pressure while keeping its offense rolling.  Quarterback Lance Jarriel scored on a 12-yard keeper to cut the lead to 14-7, early in the 2nd quarter.  The Nikes defense stopped USF in its own territory on 4th down to have a short field for the game-tying score.  Three plays later, Jarriel found Justin Brown who pitched it back to Wes Carter for a 10-yard touchdown.

Tyler Chacon led USF on a touchdown drive in the final two minutes of the first half.  Bryce Thompson, Chris McClutchy, Rodriguez and Gimbrone had receptions before Gimbrone scored from 10 yards out with 13 seconds remaining to put The Company up 21-14 at the break.

Valdosta tied the game on its opening drive of the third quarter when Jarriel found Justin Brown again, this time taking it in himself from 16 yards out.

The Valdosta State red zone defense was the story in the fourth quarter.  USF began the quarter in the red zone, following a lengthy drive to close out the third period.  A sack from TT Jackson on 4th and goal at the two ended the USF drive.  The Nikes looked to mount a time-consuming go-ahead drive, but a Carlo Perello interception ended that plan and gave USF the ball with 3 minutes remaining.  Chacon and The Company would drive once again inside the 20, but were stalled again, this time at the 15 yard line as the Valdosta State defense held strong with just seconds remaining to force overtime.

Valdosta won the toss and opted to play defense, putting its motivated squad back on the field for what would be yet another red zone denial including a key sack from LaDarius Dennison on 3rd down.  After stopping USF on its possession, Valdosta took two plays, first an 8-yard scamper then a 2-yard quarterback keeper around the left side by Lance Jarriel to punch it into the endzone for the national championship winning score.  The men’s title is Valdosta State’s third straight at the NIRSA Flag Football National Championships.

Jarriel was named the Tournament MVP and was joined by teammates Wes Carter and TT Jackson on the All-Tournament team.  USF’s Tyler Chacon and Nick Gimbrone also earned All-Tournament honors.

You can watch the entire men’s national championship game online.  It is archived for viewing at  (click the On Demand tab, then Men’s Championship, and scroll ahead to 22:40 for the start of the coverage).

In the co-rec final to start the day, early turnovers by Mississippi State Foot Clan proved costly as Valdosta State’s P-Rex squad posted 12 quick points in the first half.  Q Colvin picked off a Mississippi State pitch during a punt return and took it 25 yards for a score.  Tripp Thompson added a 60-yard pick-6 to push the Valdosta lead to 12-0.

Tony Andrew would hit Jeffrey Pate for a 6-point, 48-yard touchdown reception for the Foot Clan with under 2:00 to play in the second quarter to narrow the lead to 12-6 at the break.  The teams traded interceptions in the third quarter before Q Coleman hauled in a TD pass early in the fourth and with the extra point Valdosta State held a 19-6 advantage.  That lead would hold up to earn Valdosta State the co-rec national title.

Jarriel was named one of the two MVPs of the co-rec division alongside Mississippi State’s Kymesha Andrew.  Courtney Carter, Tripp Thompson, and Tara Dambach would join Jarriel on the All-Tournament team for P-Rex.  Husband Tony Andrew joined his wife Kymesha on the All-Tournament squad for Foot Clan.

UCF Holds Off NC A&T for 4th Straight Women’s Title

The UCF Check on It dynasty wrote yet another chapter in 2016, holding off an inspired North Carolina A&T team 13-2 in the final for its fourth consecutive women’s national championship.

UCF’s invincibility was tested during pool play when an upstart Texas State squad took the team to overtime.  UCF would prevail 12-6 in pool play then swifty took care of business against Texas State in a quarterfinal rematch 18-0. It’s semifinal match-up was yet another challenge as Check on It used two late scores to push past Southern 20-7.

In the championship, UCF faced an North Carolina A&T squad that had demonstrated a strong offense and a solid defense throughout the weekend with a 37-0 pool play win, 13-6 defeat of 2015 finalist FAMU, and a dominant 38-7 performance against Angelo State in the semifinals.

But, the Check on It defense, led by MVP Tati DeAraujo, would be the story once again.  A&T offense could not find its groove in the championship.  UCF capitalized on field position and late in the 1st half was able to tally a pair of touchdowns, one on a Megan O’Hara to Kaitlin O’Hara 28-yard pass and another on a Carli Homish to Tati DeAraujo 16-yard strike.  UCF held the A&T offense off the scoreboard in the 2nd half, with the Aggies picking up 2 points on a safety on a Domynique Shelby sack in the 3rd quarter.

DeAraujo and Megan O’Hara were named to the All-Tournament team for UCF, joined by quarterback La’Quana Hordge and back Tiffany Ellick for A&T and 3 other players.

Valdosta State, UCF Claim National Titles

Valdosta State won a pair of national titles and UCF completed a 4-peat at the 2016 NIRSA National Flag Football Championships in Pensacola.  Look for a complete story online with All-American award winners later tonight.

Co-Rec Championship
Valdosta State 19, Mississippi State 6

Women’s Championship
UCF 13, North Carolina A&T 2

Men’s Championship
Valdosta State 27, USF 21 (OT)