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Breaking New Ground in 2019

By Hard Count Athletics, 08/02/19, 1:30PM PDT


2019 was a year of firsts for Hard Count Athletics (HCA).  We had both the largest and most widely dispersed geographic youth flag football tournament series in our organization’s history in terms of the number of sites where we held our tournaments as well as the number of qualifying tournaments in our nationwide championship series leading up to our national championship tournament in June in San Diego.  In addition, we also had our largest and most successful series of youth flag football skills camps to date which are free to any youth flag football player. The HCA staff worked hard to make 2019 the most successful year so far for our youth flag football tournaments and skills camps, but we are already hard at work to make 2020 even more successful. 

The 2019 HCA Nationwide Tournament Series


2019 was the biggest and most successful year yet for the HCA nationwide youth flag football tournament series.  Our 2018 Best in the Nation tournament series was a huge success, with the finals in the 12,000-seat Star Stadium arena at the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys’ training facilities in Frisco, Texas.  However, we expanded in 2019 to feature more tournaments—six--in our 2019 nationwide series than in any previous year, but we also continued to expand from our West Coast roots to Hawaii. Hawaii is a state that is rich in football talent, having produced some of the biggest stars in the NFL and college football recently.  Hawaii lived up to its reputation as a hotbed of football talent, as it was the state that produced the most national champions of any single state at the HCA national youth flag football championships in San Diego in June. 

The 2019 HCA Skills Camps Series

2019 was the most successful year on record for HCA’s skills camps as well as our youth flag football tournaments. We hosted numerous skills camps with NFL stars, including Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu of the Kansas City Chiefs, Tony Jefferson of the Baltimore Ravens, Kenny Young of the Baltimore Ravens, Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts, and Chris Harris, Jr. of the Denver Broncos. 

For the fourth year in a row, we collaborated with Tyrann Mathieu to present his “Heart of a Badger” skills camp in his hometown of New Orleans.  The locations of many of our skills camps were specifically chosen by many of our NFL stars for the personal meaning that each site had for the player.  For example, Darius Leonard, a linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts, held his skills camp at Lake View High School in Lake View, South Carolina.  After playing college football at South Carolina State, Leonard lead the NFL in tackles in his rookie year and was named both a First Team All Pro selection as well as the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.Similarly, Kenny Young held his camp at the high school he graduated from in River Ridge, Louisiana.  Like Kenny Young, many of our players hold their skills camps in their hometowns, where a player first learned the hard work and developed the skills that led him to the top of the football world. 

One of the biggest changes that we have made at HCA to our skills camps has been the elimination of any financial barriers to participation so that any child can do so regardless of his or her financial ability to participate.  Our skills camps are free and open to the first 400 registrants. This opens them up to any interested participants and enables any aspiring youth athlete to participate regardless of his or her family’s financial circumstances.  As a result of this, the message that HCA is interested in promoting flag football to players of all socioeconomic levels got out and each of our camps had a waiting list.  

What’s in Store for 2020


We are already hard at work on both our tournament schedule for 2020 as well as our camp series.  With each year that goes by with another successful slate of tournaments and skills camps, and just like the coaches and players that we work with, we seek to get better with every passing year.  That was true for 2019 as compared with 2018 and we hope the same will be true for 2020 as compared with 2019.  We are already looking at areas of the country where we have not previously offered tournaments as well as working with professional athletes whom we have not had the opportunity to work with yet in order to make 2020 even more successful than 2019, both in terms of our youth flag football tournaments as well as our skills camps.

More About Hard Count Athletics

Participating in youth flag football tournaments like the 2019 nationwide youth flag football tournament circuit organized by Hard Count Athletics and its 2019 youth flag football skills camp series permits youth sports teams and individual players to hone their skills against the best competition from around the country and work with NFL players to work on their individual skills in a format that encourages safety, player participation and skills development. Competing in our flag football tournaments helps contribute to the success enjoyed by youth flag football teams in both their regular weekly leagues as well as regional and national tournaments like those offered by HCA.  In addition to regional and national youth flag football tournaments, HCA also offers youth flag football skills camps annually across the United States in a wide variety of geographical locations.  Our skills camps give youth players the ability to meet and learn from some of the NFL’s biggest stars what type of commitment and preparation it took for each of them to reach the sport’s very highest level.  If your child is interested in competing against other young athletes to be his or her very best or in developing his or her skills through either a tournament against national caliber competition or in a skills camp environment with a professional football player, contact Hard Count Athletics today at