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Pizza party kicks off HISI festivities; Games begin today at 22nd annual 4-on-4 charity flag football tournament

Players line up to register for the 22nd annual Hike It & Spike It 4-on-4 Charity Flag Football Tournament at Cielo Grande Recreation Area Friday. After signing in, players enjoyed free pizza from Domino’s and had a chance to check out some of the vendors selling a variety of football-related merchandise. Registration continues at 7 a.m. today and then the games begin! (J.T. Keith Photo)

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New Mexico National Guard Youth ChalleNGe cadets were out in force Friday, helping get everything set up for the tournament. Today and Sunday, the cadets will provide support for many aspects of the event, including keeping the game officials hydrated on a hot Memorial Day Weekend. (J.T. Keith Photo)
A vendor shows off the Hike It & Spike It 2017 football by thewhitefootball.com, a company that specializes in custom apparel and equipment for flag football players. (J.T. Keith Photo)
Hike It & Spikers take a break from flag football practice and become the ball as they try and take down their friends in a game of knockerball. Knockerball Roswell will be at the tournament all weekend and will have smaller balls for kids ages 3-5. (J.T. Keith Photo)

If the weather is any indication of what to expect for this year’s Hike It and Spike It 4-on-4 Charity Flag Football Tournament, plan on fast, hot action. Registration started slow with the temperature nearly hitting 100 degrees, but athletes made a late rush to check in before the 7 p.m. deadline.
As Roswell High School’s Charlie’s Angels got ready for a competition, they took a break to help with team sign in. With lines of people going around the tables waiting to register, co-owners of Hike It and Spike It Bill Saunders and Ronnie Parker could be seen on the end helping take care of teams.
“We expect to match last year’s numbers as far as registration is concerned,” Saunders said.
The wait was not long, or boring, as players, family and friends mingled, greeting each other warmly with hugs and catching up on old times as they prepared to register. Domino’s Pizza provided free slices as the music blared, sending some folks into a shuffling of their feet, swaying of their hips and bobbing of their heads.
Vendors sold everything from mouth pieces and gloves to hats and footballs. Some of the teams practiced on the fields while the officials had their meeting to go over the rules and regulations for today’s action.
Registration will resume today at 7 a.m. until all teams competing are registered to play.

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