Coach: TDFL is more than competition, it's about life skills

By Sunnie Clahchischiligi
Navajo Times

FRUITLAND, N.M., Oct. 24, 2013

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(Times video – Chris Burnside)

Patrick Quimayousie and Justine Morez want Navajo athletes to know that you don't have to live in the city to be a part of an organized youth football league.

Quimayousie is the head football coach for the Gurley Motor Company Window Rock Eagles, a youth flag football team in the Tony Dorsett Touchdown Football League based out of Gallup, and Morez is one of his assistant coaches.

The league is open to teams surrounding the Gallup area including Crownpoint, Tohatchi, Zuni and others that meet to play weekly games in Gallup.

Quimayousie said the league is a good way to encourage exercise and participation in organized sports at a young age.

"I want to attract more young kids to the TDFL," Quimayousie said. "This provides an opportunity for any parent to get their kids out of the house and onto the field to learn hard work, dedication, teamwork, passion, spirit, commitment and most important, believing in themselves."

The league currently has 18 teams split up in various age groups.

Flag football is open to athletes ages 6 to 8 years old and contact football (which includes tackle football) is open to ages 8 to 10 and 11 to 14 years old.

The league started in August and will conclude in November with a league championship game for those playing in the contact football divisions.

Quimayousie has been coaching on and off in the TDFL for the last five years.

He started when his oldest son played.

He was an assistant coach the last four years but decided to take a head coaching position with the organization this season.

He said he found it was a good a way to teach young kids valuable traits at an early age.

"We emphasize the importance of academic success as they move on in sports ... at the same time we familiarize these players with the fundamentals of football," he said.

"We try to inspire the youth no matter where they come from ... we teach them sportsmanship and of course staying fit."

So far this season, the Eagles are 5-2 this season.

Morez, a full-time student at the University of New Mexico-Gallup branch, is in her first year as an assistant coach with the league.

She said she had experience working with the Gallup Junior Police Academy that is designed to get kids interested in the academy.

Morez, who has grown children of her own, said as a mother she's always enjoyed athletics and being able to help teach children.

"It keeps them interactive and they stay active," she said. "We just kind of give them a broader outlook of what's really out there."

Quimayousie, a stay-at-home father and former sergeant for the Navajo Department of Law, said his background in training sparked his desire to train the youth in various aspects of life.

"I really like training the younger kids, because they're young and it's a different environment from home, teaching them in a structured organized environment," he said.

"It's keeping the kids active. They're not just sitting at home."

Information: (Editor's note: To see related video on TDFL, go to

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