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Congratulations to our Fall playoff Champions!! 


1st & 2nd - Titans beat the Patriots


3rd& 4th – Buccaneers beat the Cowboys


5th & 6th (Gold) - Bears beat the Bills


5th & 6th (Silver) - Cowboys beat the Raiders Black


7th & 8th – Jets beat the Saints



Coaches and Desert Sands Families-


Final Fall season recap- please pass this recap on to your Families and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving full of FAMILY, Food and Football.

The Fall playoffs did not disappoint. Win or lose we created some fabulous memories. It started with dreams of rings and the best and most competitive competition we have ever had! It ended with Championship games in the desert rain. These are memories that will last a lifetime.  Call out to all of you for a spectacular season. We exist to develop the youth in the Coachella valley through the fun game of Flag football. With out our Volunteer Coaches we cease to exist. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

We hit this Fall season out of the park with so many positive events. Its Flag football but so much more…..

Some of our Fall highlights include:

  • Annual Coaches meeting
  • Referees training sessions
  • Preseason players skills clinic
  • Picture night
  • Introduction of character development “Kids doing right” recognition program for excellence “on and off” the Field. Incentives complements of Chick Fil A and Crumbl Cookies (La Quinta)
  • I-10 Toyota and Find Food bank Can food drive. Netted 508 pounds of food for those in need.
  • Porsche & BMW of Palm Springs annual Trunk or Treat event- Free candy for all our participants
  • Congrats to our Fall regular season league winners and our Playoff Champions and dreams of rings!

After 9 years we are so proud of what this league as evolved into. It’s a carnival like atmosphere where you can meet your neighbors in a fun safe environment. We have great sponsors and unbelievable vendors. It is so good for the community and recognized as one of the top youth sport organizations in the Coachella Vallery. We even been referred to a s as a “character development” league focused on teaching “life lessons” from sports.  

Action requested-

We need you to re-up. Please confirm if we can count on you returning to Coach for Spring 2024? We are expecting a huge surge in participants based on our Fall success, Girls CIF designation, and being added as a 2028 Olympic sport.  Flag football is one of the Fastest growing sports in the USA.

We need more Coaches!! 

Please step up by volunteering for another season. Along with your commitment to Coach please email us your top 3 NCAA team names and any player requests.


Thank you for your collective effort to help us build Desert Sands Friday Night Lights league the premier youth sport League in the Valley. Lets keep it going!


Tom Roche (olders) and John Maldonado (youngers)

DSFNL Commissioners or

Congrats to Fall our regular season champions

Fall 2023 season 1st and 2nd place finishers-

Action requested- Swing by the FNL snack shack to take a picture and pick up your Trophies.

1ST & 2ND Grade:

RED 1st Titans – Coach Ismael Esparza / 2nd Seahawks Coach Mark Rosbarsky
BLUE 1st Lions – Coach Michael Powers / 2nd Patriots Coach Richard Romo

3rd & 4th Grade:

RED 1st Chargers – Coach Nathan Beck / 2nd Bears Coach Phil Tanner
BLUE 1st 49er’s Black – Coach Albert Houge / 2nd Tampa Bay Buccaneers Manny Bustamnte

5th & 6th Grade:

Yellow 1st Bears – Coach Rob Tanner / 2nd Bills Coach Anthony Gonzalas
RED 1st Chargers white – Coach Nathan Beck / 2nd Raiders white Coach Eddie Galvan
BLUE 1st Cowboys white– Coach Curtis Green / 2nd Giants Coach Tommy Pham

7th & 8th Grade:

RED 1st Jets– Coach Jasen Agostini / 2nd Saints white Coach Dan O’Grady
BLUE 1st (co winners)- Ravens – Coach Albert Hogue and Abel T., Chiefs white Coach Cindy Moran and Tommy Pham / 2nd Panthers Coach Jesse Prather

Congratulations on a fantastic season and best of luck in the playoffs!

Tom Roche and John A. Maldonado
Commissioner Friday Night Lights
760 636-8266




1) Chick-FIL-A meal award focuses on community service & academic excellence "off the field".

Here is how it works- Our DSFNL Parents and/or players inform their Coaches of any worthy community service and/or academic excellence. The Coach can select up to 1 player per week, per Team, to receive a “Free” Chic-A-Fil meal ticket. The honoree and their Coach need to stop by the FNL snack shack after their game to pick up the award.

2) Crumbl Cookies - award recognizes athletic excellence "on the field" of play

Here is how it works- Our Coaches will select up to 1 player per week, per Team, to receive a free Crumbl cookie certificate for their standout performance and making players around them better. Stop by the FNL snack shack with your Coach to pick up your certificate, redeemable at the La Quinta location

NEW *ALL GIRLS* Flag Football Division-

Flag football is a ton of Fun and is one of the fastest growing sports in the USA. This NEW All Girls division will play on the same Friday Nights, and  same fields as the much larger general CoEd league. Girls can play in either league; however, we find that the female participation dramatically increases when we have an "All Girls" division; especially now that  "Girls Flag Football is NOW an official CIF Sport". 

DesertSands Friday Night Lights goal is to become the primary feeder program for the Coachella Valley High Schools. The perfect target athlete is already participating in other girls sports ie: Soccer, track and field, Volleyball, and Basketball. Please let them know about our New All Girls Division.

  • Girls’ grades K-8th
  • Register NOW and Save $ -Fall season Aug-Nov
  • Tons of FUN, non-contact
  • Build you Team or sign up and play with friends!
  • Teams of 6-8 
  • No experience necessary
  • For more information go to or call with questions 760 636-8266 John M.


 KESQ did a nice job recapping Desert Sands FNL - Enclosed is the clip.

Thanks for all your support in making FNL the best youth sports league in in the Coachella Valley! Let’s keep it rolling and continue to assess what’s working and what’s not and provide us feedback so we can continuously improve and become even better!

Moving forward-

  • Check scores and remember MAX score differential is 22pts. We reward defense points allowed not points scored. If game gets lopsided Referees are instructed to have a running clock, no time outs. We suggest twinning team takes the foot off the accelerator and run the ball with your slowest player. No need to humiliate the other team, win with class and teach compassion for others


Coaches coach, Players play, Referees Ref, and Parent cheer!  Control your sidelines!


Thank and keep it FUN!!!

John A. Maldonado and Tom Roche

Commissioner's Friday Night Lights

In closing-

Please remember the overall purpose of our league is to develop the youth in our community. While it is more fun to win, the lessons we teach are more important than “wins and losses”.

Every Friday half the Teams win, and half the teams lose, but everyone can learn the life lessons generated from the :50 minutes of competition.  They learn how to compete, how to deal with adversity, hard work, and Team commitment. No scholarships just the joy of playing flag football.

Keep the focus on personal and Team development, good sportsmanship, and having Fun!

Competition has made us better! You can expect the best youth sports experience in the Valley.

  • Better Equipment- including balls jerseys and flags.
  • Better Referees and Coaches
  • Better trophies and team pictures
  • Added fields and security.
  • Improved special event ie-Free Mother’s Day Roses for our special ladies.
  • Multiple divisions at every age group- ensures more competitive balance



Tom Roche and John Maldonado

DSFNL Commissioner’s Friday Night Lights

760 636-8266



Arrive hungry and support our growing Vendor partners!!!

  • New- Chick-Fil-A
  • New Cold stone creamery 
  • Las Carretas Taco shop
  • Pele's frozen lemonade
  • Kettle Corn
  • Pizza
  • Crumbl Cookies



  • This is a district restriction and if violated we could lose our field use permits.

Share the spotlight-

Parents, If you want your kids to share the spotlight, please upload and share your action photos photos with our Social Media Director on Instagram as @fridaynightlights_dsusd or Facebook as @Desert Sands FNL

Plus... if your children have been recognized for academic or community excellence let us know and we will catch our Players doing things right!

Other important information:

  • Upload championship pictures and video to our Social Media Director on Instagram as @fridaynightlights_dsusd or Facebook as @Desert Sands FNL ...Share action photos and any academic excellence awards
  • Sponsor plaques are backordered and not expected to arrive until Jan/Feb. Our trophy supplier communicated to us that a component of the plaques is caught up in the supply chain crisis. Once they are ready, we will contact all our Teams to meet us at CMP to pick up you Sponsor Plaques.


Remember the regular season is about Team development, “EVERYONE makes the PLAYOFFS”; so Keep it FUN!!

The impact you can make on this Community and this new generation can be life altering.   The Life lessons you teach will be much more enduring than your record.

Whether you like it or not you are role models.  Control your sidelines.  You set the tone for the Players, Parents, and ultimately the league; so win or lose, do it with Class. Demonstrate Good Sportsmanship, shake hands after every game, and genuinely thank the opponent for the opportunity to compete.

“New Spotlight Player award-  Coaches please be active nominating your players for Community, Academic or Athletic excellence!  Every week we will select an individual that best embodies the ideals we prize as a League. 

Lastly, Control you Sidelines Remind your Families: “Coaches Coach, Refs Ref, Players Play and Parents Cheer.  If we all stick to our roles we will have another Banner Season.


Click here> Brett Favre says choose Flag Football until 14yrs old

Is letting your child play tackle football before age 14 ever a good idea? Brett Favre says no.

South Coast Funding Group

South Coast Funding is a Proud Sponsor of Friday Night Lights click our logo ABOVE to Get pre-qualified and close in a quick as 10 days!

Conor Roche

Mortgage Loan officer- NMLS#2009708

Phone: 949-872-7657- DRE#02185766

DSFNL Mailing Address


P.O. Box 11034

Palm Desert, CA 92255-1034

John A. Maldonado

COMMISSIONER K, /1st & 2nd / 3rd & 4th Grade Divisons

Phone: 760-636-8266

Tom Roche

COMMISSIONER 5th & 6th / 7th & 8th Grade Divisions

Phone: 949-836-4753

Game and practice Pictures Wanted!

 Have any photos or videos that you want to share with us? 


on Facebook  and/or Instagram 

Join the 20,000 Kids who Play FNL Football

14 FNL Football Leagues to choose from.  Please Visit their websites for more information:

  • Los Alamitos/Seal Beach,
  • Irvine,
  • Garden Grove,
  • Huntington Beach,
  • Murrieta,
  • Temecula
  • Newport Mesa,
  • North County (Carlsbad - La Costa - Oceanside),
  • Desert Sands (Palm Desert, La Quinta),
  • Central Coast (San Luis Obispo)
  • North San Diego (Rancho Bernardo)
  • Carmel Valley (Del Mar, La Jolla, Solana Beach)
  • Corona (Norco, Eastvale, Jurupa)
  • Santa Barbara
  • Edmond OKC
  • Riverside
  • Rancho Bernardo