Nebraska City offering Half Rack Football League

Kirt Manion
Nebraska City News-Press

Looking for a more complete youth football experience? Now you can have it.

In past years, youth seeking a football experience that would prepare them for middle school and high school football have been limited to either playing flag football or padded tackle football.

The flag football involved little if any contact and excluded lineman development while tackle football in full pads caused concern regarding the possibility of head injury.

Enter Nebraska City’s newest football offering for youth players—Half Rack Football.

What is Half Rack Football? The Nebraska City Half Rack Football League is a developmental program for football players from third through sixth grade and will be a combination of flag football and padded football.

In Half Rack, youth players will wear rugby style helmets and light shoulder pads. Play will consist of limited contact with running and passing plays. Unlike the traditional flag football, however, lineman will be developed both in terms of football IQ and in terms of blocking techniques.

The rules will allow for 8-on-8 play, which is what Nebraska City offered in its flag football program in the past.

Scooter Edmisten, an organizer of the Nebraska City Half Rack Football League, said registration is currently being accepted for third-and-fourth grade teams as well as a fifth-and-sixth grade teams. The hope is that Nebraska City will have two or three teams in each division and that those numbers will be enhanced by teams from surrounding communities such as Louisville, Johnson-Brock, Auburn and Sidney, Iowa.

Prior to this league, Coach Edmisten said Nebraska City had participated in the Syracuse flag football league, which is the NFL Air It Out format with 5-on-5 play. Edmisten said that Nebraska City is seeking to develop its league, but isn’t wanting to hurt the existing league in Syracuse.

Edmisten said area players should watch for details about a football camp geared for players in the Half Rack Football League. That camp will happen within the first two weeks of July with the registration deadline for the Half Rack Football League set for the mid-July window.

The hope is that the league will begin playing games in late August and will conclude play with a tournament in October.

For more information about the league or the upcoming football camp, contact Tyler Hodges at 402-480-0546 or Kaleb Walker at 402-525-8531. E-mail Hodges at thodges@nebcityps.org or Walker at kwalker@nebcityps.org.