ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
The 97 AMW hosted its final flag football game of the season Sept. 28, 2018 when the 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 97th Operation Support Squadron played in the finals of the 2018 Flag Football Championships.
“You can find this sort of league in almost every base in the Air Force,” said Staff Sgt. Kyle Noble, a player on the 97th OSS team. “The competitiveness is real here; we feel the pressure and really want to win.”
The 97th OSS found themselves in the loser’s bracket, meaning they would have to win two games back-to-back in order to secure the championship.
The bleachers were filled with supporters: LRS fans in blue and OSS fans in orange. The fans were not just limited to peers. Much of the noise in the crowd was made by base leadership.
“I love this game,” said Col. Robert Pedersen, commander of the 97th Mission Support Group after LRS scored a touchdown.
After winning the first game by eight points, OSS wanted to keep the ball rolling in their favor.
“We have the momentum!” exclaimed Airman 1st Class Antheus Hebert, an Air Traffic Controller assigned to the 97th OSS. “We’re going to do it again!”
After a short break after the first game, the second one began.
Near the end of the second game, OSS had the possession of the ball. While being down by two touchdowns with only seconds left, OSS ran hard on the last play, scoring a touchdown that would not win them the game.
OSS was able to cross into the end zone and score, but LRS ultimately won the game.
Cheers and celebrations erupted from the right side of the crowd, supporting LRS.
After shaking hands, the team huddled up and celebrated until they were approached by Pedersen.
“You guys have made me so proud to be your commander,” said Pedersen. “You lost, gathered yourself, kept your composure and you won right after. That’s resiliency; that’s what the Air Force tries to teach. I’m very proud.”
U.S. Air Force Col. Eric Carney, commander of the 97th Air Mobility Wing, looked on at the celebration with Pedersen.
“What a game,” said Carney to Pedersen. “I love it.”