Dayton Flames Youth Football Organization
We Help Mold Lives Through Sportsmanship and Leadership
The Dayton Flames Youth Organization was established in the summer of 1992 as the Greenwich Village Flames. Its founders were as follows: Roger T. Crawford, Steve Daniels, Clarence Smith, Donald Ward & George Murphy. Along with the founders the Flames was formed by a handful of parents and kids with big dreams and aspirations of starting their own community based football and cheerleading program. With seven teams ranging from ages 5-13 the Flames set sail. There was very little equipment and no uniforms. As an independent, games were scheduled and played wherever any team agreed to play us. This meant traveling to Cincinnati, Yellow Springs, Springfield, and as far away as Kentucky, Cleveland, and Detroit.
In 1995 The Dayton Flames applied for membership and was accepted into the Greater Cincinnati Buckeye Youth Football Association. We played a regular schedule of games each Saturday. Our teams hit the field in bright orange jerseys, while practice pants and game pants were one in the same, the kids loved them. We were the "Oliver Twist" of the league, a lil' ragged but smiling and playing hard. In our inaugural year our 5, 6 & 7 year old team won the Super Bowl. 1996 was a new year with its own trials and tribulations. Game pants and practice pants were still playing dual roles but parents, players, and the handful that ignited the spark were still going strong. In fact, each year more and more youth came out to join the Flames, we were in a dilemma. How could we possibly afford uniforms for this many children? We didn't know, but as the children came out to play, we found a way.
Coaches and board members became mentors to these children. We were stuck with the responsibility for developing and molding young lives. Through sportsmanship, we were building self esteem and providing the youth in the Dayton area a constructive means of learning self discipline, hard work, teamwork and dedication to fair play.
In 1996 our 13 year old team won the Super Bowl while our beloved 8year old team was Super Bowl Runner Ups. This is when the Flames began to earn the respect of the Buckeye League. In 1997 All 7 of our teams made it to the Playoffs with our 9year old team becoming Super Bowl Champs for the first time. Our 8year old team was Runner Ups. During the 1998 season, our Flames became a burning fire. For the first time ever we acquired new game pants and separate practice pants. After numerous fundraisers and tremendous amounts of help from parents, volunteers, and businesses in our community, we were able to provide new equipment and uniforms for almost 300 children. This year our 9 year old team went from being Runner Ups the previous year to Super Bowl Champions, while our 10 year old team competed in their third straight Superbowl and finished as Superbowl Runner Ups.
Competing for that gold football in the Super Bowl went from a dream to being expected by parents, players, and coaches.
In 1999, our 10 year old team brought home the Gold Ball from the Super Bowl and laid claim to back-to-back Superbowl champions, and was also national runner-ups in Panama City Beach, FLorida's Turkey Day Classic. In 2000 our 11 year old team competed in their 5th straight Super Bowl and finished as Superbowl Runner-Ups, but won the national title in Atlanta, Ga's Shriner's Classic and this team became known as our beloved G.O.A.T Team. Our 12 year old team competed in their 4th straight Superbowl in 5 years and brought home the "Gold Ball".
After being on the outside looking in for 2 consecutive years, in 2003 the Flames returned with 400 degrees Fahrenheit of intense heat by placing our 11 and 12 year old teams in the Superbowl, only to come up short and walk away with two Superbowl Runner-Up trophies. But this was no disappointment by any means. The fire was burning once again!
In 2004, the Flames got some satisfaction once again by placing its 11 and 12 year old teams in the Superbowl in “back-to-back” years. Our 11 year old team finished as Superbowl Runner-Ups while our 12 year old team finished as Superbowl Champs after overcoming so much adversity to even participate in the game and beating their long time nemesis "The Hilltop Hawks". This 12year old team took the Flames back to national competition by winning the national tournament at Smyth Park in Middletown, Ohio and finishing in 3rd place at the nationals in St. Louis, Mo. behind two teams from our own league that we happen to beat in the playoffs(6ot) and G.C.B.Y.F.A. Superbowl.
In 2005, “Da Mighty” Dayton Flames came home to play by joining the G.W.O.P.C (The Greater Western Ohio Pee-Wee Conference) after feeling slighted by our former league the G.C.B.Y.F.A.
The Flames placed 4 out of 5 teams in the Super Bowl in its inaugural season in the G.W.O.P.C. Our K-2nd , 5th and 6th grade teams finished as Superbowl Runner-Ups, while our 3rd grade team finished as Super Bowl Champions, by winning a “THRILLER” in a come from behind win over the powerful Dayton Red Hawks 20-19. Although some seen this as a disappointment by winning only 1 out of 4 titles. This was a major feat that no other organization in our league has ever been ever to lay claim to. We continued our successes by traveling to Chattanooga, TN., and competing in the 7th annual Choo-Choo Bowl. Our 3rd grade team returned home as national champions after beating the Irondale Titans of Irondale, AL., 20-14 in the national title game. While our 6th grade team finished as runner-ups to the Carolina Hurricanes of South Carolina, after the game was halted in the middle of the 4th quarter with the Flames trailing 13-20. These are accomplishments that not only the Flames can be proud of but the G.W.O.P.C. league and all of Dayton as well.
In 2006 Flames returned to the Greater Cincinnati Buckeye Youth Football Association where two(2) of our six(6) teams(9 & 11yr. Old teams) qualified for the play-offs where the 9Yr. Old Team advanced to the Championship Round of the Play-offs where they were eliminated from Superbowl contention by the Middletown Lil’ Buckeyes. Our 9U & 13U teams continued their title quest by traveling to Mobile, Alabama to compete in the 6th annual Turkey Day Classic ”Battle of Mobile Bay”. With such high expectations, anything less than a National Title would have been a disappointment so both teams were aware of the daunting tasks that lay ahead.
Our 13U Team coached by Brian Carter, Sr. & staff won their National Title in 2OT over St. Johns Wildcats, LA 25-18 and later that afternoon our High Powered 9U Team coached by Daryl D. McCleskey, Sr. & staff completed their Back to Back National Title Quest 18-14 over River Region Rapids from Montgomery, Alabama.
In the pre-season of 2007, The Flames traveled to Knoxville, TN to compete in the 2nd annual National Youth Football Kick-off Classic with five(5) teams(9,10,11,12yr olds & 14U Dayton Flames Elite Team) where three(3)(10,11 &14U Dayton flames Elite) of our five(5) teams had third place finishes while our MIGHTY 12yr. Old Team won the Pre-Season National Title in 2OT's 26-25 over West Pembroke Pines of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In 2007 The Greater Cincinnati Youth Football Association realized "WE'RE BACK" We went from two(2) teams(9 & 11yr olds) in 2006 to four(4) teams(5-7,8,10, & 12yr. Olds) in 2007 to qualify for the GCBYFA Playoffs. Three(5-7,10 & 12yr. Olds) of our four teams advanced to the Championship Round of the playoffs and one(1)(10yr. Old Team) advanced to the Superbowl. Our 10yr. Old Team, Coached by Daryl McCleskey, Sr. & Staff went on went on to shutout the powerful Forest Park Rams 14-0 for our 1st Superbowl Championship since returning to the "Buckeye League".
In 2008, The Flames could stick their chest out a little because our play on the field demonstrated the skill level that our coaches worked so hard to perfect since the start of Training Camp in July & our representation in National Tournaments, The GCBYFA Playoffs & The 2008 Superbowl. The Flames traveled back to Knoxville, TN to compete in the 3rd annual National Youth Football Kick-off Classic with four(4) teams(8,11,12yr olds & 14U Dayton Flames Elite Team) where one(1)(8yr. Old Team) of our four(4) teams had a third place finish and our High Powered 11yr. Old Team won their 2nd Pre-Season National Title in 3 years 20-13 over The Tucker Lions of Atlanta, Georgia. It didn't stop there, the Flames continued their Title Quest right into the "Buckeye League" by having a all time high Five(5)(5/6,7,8,11 & 12yr. Old Teams) of Seven(7) teams to qualify for the GCBYFA Playoffs & all Five teams advanced to the Championship Round of the Playoffs & Three(3)(5/6, 11 & 12yr. Olds) of the Five(5) Teams advanced to the GCBYFA Superbowl.
All three(3) teams won the Superbowl by a combined 96-0, making history for the Dayton Flames Youth Organization by having Three(3) teams qualify for the Superbowl in the same year, all Three(3) teams winning the Superbowl and all Three(3) teams holding their opponents to zero points. First up was Coach B.C./Britt & the 12yr. Old Team, they defeated Ickey Woods & the Avondale Warriors 42-0, 2nd up was Coach Daryl McCleskey,Sr. & the High Powered 11yr. Old Team who avenged their only league loss by defeating Coach Little & his undefeated Western AA Warriors 26-0 for "Back to Back" Superbowl Championships, and last but not least was Coach Samuel Anderson & the 5&6yr. Old Team, they defeated the No 5,1 & 2 seeds on their way to their 1st of many Superbowl Championships ( Flames 28 Hilltop 0). These are accomplishments that the Dayton Flames Youth Organization & members of The Buckeye League can be proud of.
In 2009 the Flames were back at it again by traveling to Pre Season Nationals in Knoxville, Tennessee with 4 teams 7U, 8U, 9U & 12U team. The 7U & 9U teams finished as Pre Season National Champions, while our 8U team placed 3rd. In the G.C.B.Y.F.A. 6 of 7 Flames teams qualified for the playoffs. Of the 6 teams 3 teams advanced to the championship round. The 9U yr. team coached by Shaka Hargrove and Staff came from behind to defeat the Hilltop Hawks 18-16 to take home the gold. The 12yr. old team, coached by Daryl McClesky and staff shut out the Madisonville Tigers 22-0 making this their 3rd Super Bowl Title in a row (Three Peat). This was history making for the Dayton Flames. We didn’t stop there. We traveled with 4 teams (7U, 8U, 9U & 12U team) to the Snapper Bowl Turkey Day Nationals in Panama City, Florida. Returning home with two National Championship Teams. Head Coach Sam Anderson and staff with the 7U team beat out the Alabama Mustangs 32-7 for the National Title. The 9U team coached by Shaka Hargrove & staff claimed the National Title by beating the Alabama Lions 26-6. Our 12U team finished as National Runner Ups to t record. Our 8U team coached by James Ward, Sr. and staff was defeated by Alabama Lions of Prattville, Alabama 18-0 for a 3rd place finish. 2009 proved to be victorious and a history making season for the Dayton Flames. How do you top that!!!!!he Mid River Ravens from Mobile, Alabama to finish the season with an outstanding 25-3 record. Our 8U team coached by James Ward, Sr. and staff was defeated by Alabama Lions of Prattville, Alabama 18-0 for a 3rd place finish. 2009 proved to be victorious and a history making season for the Dayton Flames. How do you top that!!!!!
The Flames started the 2010 season determined to “keep the fire burning”. 6 teams invaded the Pre Season Nationals in Knoxville, Tenn. with 3 teams advancing to the National Championship Game. The 8U team coached by Sam Anderson finished as National Champions for (Back to Back) Championships. The 7U team coached by Todd Farris and staff finished National Runner – Ups in a triple overtime thriller loss to Central DeKalb Jaguars. While the 10U team was defeated in a nail bitter to Central DeKalb Jaguars of Atlanta, Georgia. The “on fire Flames” had all 7 teams qualify for the G.C.B.Y.F.A. play offs. 4 teams (6U, 8, 10 &12yr old team) advanced to the championship round. The 8u team beat the Madisonville Tigers 12-6 on the last play of the game. To claim their 2nd Super bowl title in two years. Coach Shaka Hargrove 10U team shut out their longtime nemesis Hilltop Hawks 18-0. For a “Back to Back “Super bowl title. Coach Daryl McCLeskey and the 12u team were defeated in a showdown of Dayton 12-6 to the Dayton Red Hawks. We took 6 of our “on fire Flames” to the Turkey Day Classics in Atlanta, Georgia. The 10U team defeated the Mighty South Cobb Ravens 12-6. in a nail biting, overtime clincher to become” Back to Back” National Champions. The 8U team finished as National Runner-Ups after surrendering the lead and losing 13-12 in the final minute of the game!! The Elite Team of the Flames traveled to 4 National Championships. Michigan 5-0, Louisville 5-0, Columbus, Oh 4-0 and Atlanta, Georgia where they won all games but, was not able to compete for the championship. The “on fire Flames” ended the 2010 season with accomplishments the entire Dayton community can be proud of.
The Fire didn’t stop burning the 2011 Season. For the Pre Season Nationals 5 teams traveled to Knoxville, Tenn. (7U, 9U, 10U, 11U &13U teams). Coach Shaka Hargrove &staff 11U team hungry to reclaim their title shut out nemesis Hilltop Hawks 6-0 to reclaim their National Championship Title. The 9U team finished with 3rd the 14U placed 4th. This year National Labor day Classic Coach Sam Anderson & staff 9U team defeated the Avondale Eagles in a 6-0 clincher. The 10U team was defeated 6-0 against the Hilltop Hawks. Once again it was a battle between the 11U teams. The Dayton Flames and Cincinnati, Hilltop Hawks. The Flames would succumb to the Hilltop Hawks 6-0. All 6 Flames teams advanced to the playoffs. With 3 advancing to the championship round. (9U, 10U &11U teams)... Coach Shaka Hargrove came prepared for battle in army fatigues. His 11U team and staff defeated the Hilltop Hawks in a 14-0 shut out. Making this a Triple Repeat Super Bowl Championship for the 11U team. The 9U team would become “Back to Back’ Super Bowl Champions by defeating the Western AA Warriors 16-14. Coach Daryl McCleskey & staff 10U team made their first Super Bowl appearance finishing as Runner-Up. All 3 teams took their show on the road to The Turkey Day Classic Nationals in Atlanta Georgia. The 9U & 11U teams finished in 3rd place and the 10U team placed 4th. These are some of the accomplishments of the Dayton Flames Organization.
2012 will be remembered as the year of monumental change. After experiencing a split the Flames came back Bigger, Faster and Stronger than ever after merging with the Dayton Redhawks. We traveled with 5 teams (8U, 9U, 10U, 11U & 12U) down to Knoxville, TN to compete in the 7th Annual National Kick-off Classic and four (4) of the five (5) teams competed in the National Title game with Coach Sam and his 10yr old team emerging as National Champions in a Thriller vs. Central Dekalb Jaguars on the final drive of the game. Our 12U Team coached by Shaka Hargrove, our 11yr old Team Coached by Coach Dink & staff as well as our 8yr old Team coached by Coach Casey Releford & Staff finished as National Runner-ups while our 9U team coached by Coach Brian Payne placed 3rd. That is a strong show of force on the National Stage.
The Flames picked up were we left off by having all six teams qualify for the GCBYFA playoffs, five (5) of our six (6) advanced to the Championship round of the playoffs (7U, 8U, 9U, 10U & 11U) while for the first time ever four (4) of our five (5) teams (8U, 9U, 10U & 11U) advanced to the Superbowl. Three (3) of the four (4) teams won the Superbowl (8U team defeated Winton Woods Rams 6-0, 10U team defeated Winton Woods Rams 6-0 and our 11U team defeated the Hilltop Hawks 12-6). Our 9U team was defeated 20-0 by Western AA Warriors.
The Flames traveled to three different National tournaments 8U team traveled to Atlanta, GA to compete in the “Battle of Cobb County” Turkey Day Classic where they defeated A O Gators from Alabama 6-0, 9U & 11U teams traveled to Gatlinburg, TN to compete in the Gatlinburg Thanksgiving Bowl where Coach McCleskey & Staff defeated Edgewood Cougars 22-0 in the National Title game and Coach Payne & Staff was defeated by Hiram Hornets 14-0 to finish as National Runner-ups. Our 12U team Coached by Shaka Hargrove & Staff traveled to Knoxville, TN to compete in “Battle of Rocky Top” where they defeated Knoxville Fighting Irish 14-6 in the National Title game. Congratulations Coaches, players, parents, board members and supporters. Keep up the good work.
2013 the Flames traveled with 5 teams (8U, 9U, 10U, 11U & 12U) down to Knoxville, TN to compete in the 8th Annual National Kick-off Classic and all 5 teams placed as follows: 12U Coached by Daryl McCleskey, Sr. & Staff National Runner-ups(defeated by Cin. Fairmont Cowboys), 8U Coached by Eric Davis & Staff National Runner-ups (defeated by Sandstone Vikings), 11U Coached by Sam Anderson & Staff(defeated by Central Dekalb Jaguars), 10U Coached by Brian Payne & Staff & 9U Coached by Casey Releford & Staff (defeated by Wyoming Cowboys) all finished in 3rd place. Not bad for some pre-season national competition.
The Flames was back at it with all six teams qualifying for the GCBYFA playoffs, but only three teams was up for the challenge. Those three (3) teams (9U, 10U & 11U) swept through the 1st round and advanced to the Championship round of the playoffs where all three (3) teams done what they done last year marched on to the Superbowl. While our 11U team was the only one to emerge victorious by pounding the Winton Woods Rams 26-12 for their fourth consecutive Superbowl Championship our 9U team didn’t go down without a fight in their loss in double overtime to the Winton Woods Rams whom they dethroned the previous year and our 8U team was defeated in a comeback thriller by the Western AA Warriors 18-10.
Coach McCleskey & his 12U team traveled to Louisville, Ky to compete in the 2013 River City Rumble where they brought home the coveted National Championship in the 12U division. One (1) week later Coach Payne & his 10U team traveled to Louisville, Ky to compete in the 2013 Kentuckian Classic where they walked away with a 3rd place finish after losing in a controversial manner to the Evanston Bulldogs of Cincinnati, Ohio. Thanksgiving week our 11U & 12U teams traveled to Gatlinburg, TN to compete in the Gatlinburg Thanksgiving Bowl where Coach McCleskey & Staff was defeated by the Tennessee Central Bobcats 26-0 in the National Title game leaving a three way tie for 1st place only to lose out to Central Bobcats on points given up. They gave up 34pts while the Flames gave up 38. Coach Sam and his Mighty 11U team was defeated in the National Title game by the Tennessee Butler County Brawlers in a very physical battle 20-7. Although two (2) nationals runner-ups is not bad for any program, it just hurts us because we expect to win everytime we compete. Congratulations Coaches, players, parents, board members and supporters. Keep up the good work.
2014 the Flames went through a restructuring phase and for the first time ever didn't have all six teams to compete for league play. We didn't have a 9 year old and a 10 year old team. But never the less we continued to make a difference with our other 5 teams including our Dayton Flames Elite 13U team who has represented this organization well all over the country.
For the 1st time ever the Dayton Flames Elite traveled to the East Coast on June 26th -29th to compete in the 2014 DMAXX Bowl in the 13U division and went 2-1 for a THIRD Place finish. Not bad for a team that didn't get to put a helmet on before the 1st competition of the year.
Dayton Flames traveled with two teams (11U & 13U Elite Team) to Knoxville, TN on August 1st - 3rd to compete in the 9th annual National Youth Kick-Off Classic. Our 11U Team finished in third place while our 13U Elite Team fell in the National Title game to Power House Athletics 22-14 after defeating the Georgia Thoroughbreds in double OT.
Dayton Flames Elite was back at it once more by traveling to St. Louis, MO to compete in the Renegade Rumble August 29th - September 1st in the 14U division where the Mighty Elite Team fell in the Championship Game to Mid-Rivers Eagles 19-0. Pretty darn good for a team that played up in the 14U division. Loved the tournament and loved the people especially the Soul food at Sweetie Pies.
All four (4) of our GCBYFA made the playoffs (6U, 7U, 8U & 11U) and our 6U & 11U advanced to the Championship round where both teams fell to the Hilltop Hawks 6U 0-12 & 11U 6-12. Hats off to these coaches and their staff for representing the Flames well.
Now it was up to the Dayton Flames Elite to carry the torch and reign glory down on this organization for the remainder of the year because this is the first time in history that the Flames didn’t have a team representing the organization in the Superbowl.
This Dayton Flames Elite team wouldn’t disappoint, they would go on and compete in four (4) National tournaments during the month of November starting with the Tyler Genneken Memorial Football Tournament in Greenwood, IN from November 7th – 9th where there was a three way tie for 1st place and all three teams had to play a sudden death overtime against one another to determine which two teams would compete for the championship. We beat both teams in the sudden death overtime match and ended up playing George Hill Rising Stars for the championship whom we beat 14-0.
Next up was the River City Rumble in Louisville, Ky but due to unforeseen circumstances this tournament was cancelled the week of the tournament. Never the less we wasn’t going to take the week off after these young men fundraised tirelessly to compete on the Big Stage, so we contacted the Monster Sports in Columbus, Ohio to compete in this high powered tournament and beat the Hilltop Cowboys in the Championship 32-12.
On to the Battle in the Rocky Top National Championships November 21st – 23rd where we fell 34-6 (6-6 at halftime) to Central Bobcat Outlaws from Knoxville, TN in the Semi-Finals (team we loss to 27-0 in Gatlinburg, TN in the 2013 National Title Game) and finished 3rd in the Battle in the Rocky Top.
Finally a chance at redemption this Elite Team couldn’t wait to travel to Gatlinburg, TN November 26th – 30th to avenge not only its 2013 National Title game loss to the Central Bobcat Outlaws in Gatlinburg, TN but our 2014 Semi-Final loss in the Battle in the Rocky Top. Once again we fell to the Central Bobcat Outlaws 21-24 after totally dominating the game and led the whole way only to give up two (2) late TD passes in the final four minutes of the game. Not to mention we failed to score from the 1 yard line with 2.3 seconds before halftime which would have put us up 28-13 at the half and put the game away. In Knoxville this team rushed for over 300 yards against us but in Gatlinburg, TN we limited them to under 40 yards rushing but failed to stop the air attack late the 4th quarter. It was 4th and 20 from our own 45 yard line Flames was up 21-19 with 2 ½ minutes left in the game and we got hit with a roughing the passer penalty which gave them another shot and they scored on a 25 yard TD pass. We had over two minutes left to put a drive together but it wasn’t meant to be. We turned the ball over on downs with 35 seconds left in the game. What a run with such a great group of young men.
2015 the Flames were part of creating a new League, The Ohio Premier Youth Sports Association with former members of the Greater Cincinnati Youth Football Association (Buckeye League) and four or five new organizations. The start of something new and fresh sparked a lot of interest in southwest Ohio. Ohio Premier has nine (9) member organizations in its inaugural season with several organizations looking to join in the 2016 season.
The Flames was back with all six teams to compete for league play (4, 5 & 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11/12yr. old Teams). Although the 9 year old team was a challenge with a change of coaches 2 times before the season was fully under way, We were able to hold it together to finish the season with a playoff loss to the Hilltop Hawks.
Dayton Flames traveled with only one team (11/12yr. Old Team) to Knoxville, TN on July 31st - August 2nd to compete in the 10th annual National Youth Kick-Off Classic. Our 11/12 yr. Old Team loss a heart breaker to the Central Dekalb Jaguars 6-12 on a Hail Mary pass with 10 seconds left in the game. 11/12yr. Old Team finished in fourth place. Not bad but none the the less we were disappointed & couldn't wait to get back to work.
All six (6) Flames teams qualified for the 2015 OPYSA playoffs with two (2) teams advancing to the Championship Round of the Playoffs (10yr. Old Team by beating Westside Panthers 7-0 & 11/12yr. Old Team with a forfeit win over OTR Seahawks). Our 10yr. Old Team was defeated by the Hilltop Hawks while our 11/12yr. Old Team advanced to the Super Bowl by defeating the Cin-City Gators. Our 11/12yr. Old Team won the inaugural Ohio Premier Super Bowl by defeating a very determined Cincinnati Aiken Falcons team 38-12.
Dayton Flames 11/12yr. Old Team Traveled to Louisville, KY to compete in the River City Rumble & defeated a undefeated Louisville Doss team in the Championship game 8-6 to Reign supreme.
Our 8yr. Old Team traveled to St. Louis, MO to compete in the Midwest Grid Iron Classic National Championships November 25th. These fine young men won their 1st ever game with National competition by defeating the St. Louis Killians 25-7 then fell 12-6 in the Semi-Finals to Matthew Dickey. Great job for their 1st National Competition.
The Dayton Flames Youth Organization is a 501 (c) 3 entity recognized by the IRS and all donations are tax-exempt. You can help this important cause with your donation, which will be designated for New Facilities, Field Maintenance, equipment purchases, travel and assistance with registration fees. Our administrative costs are kept to a minimum, with the help of sponsors, our many dedicated volunteers and Supporters.
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