WETUMKA, Oklahoma – Wetumka Indian Community Center wanted to build fellowship within their community in person and virtually. They achieved this by starting a fantasy football league, Wetumka Indian Community Fantasy Football League (WICFFL). This was the first time WICC set up a fantasy football league.
Initially, the center invited members over 18 to participate but ultimately opened it to anyone who wanted to join. To participate, no experience was required, and prospects only had to sign up with Eric Yahola, WICC Assistant Secretary and Treasurer. Attendance was optional, but WICC fed those who did attend.
Ten people, called “owners” in fantasy football, participated from Wetumka, Okemah, Holdenville, and Henryetta. Players downloaded the “Sleeper Fantasy Sports” app, created an account to play, and then were invited to the WICFF.
“We randomized the draft order, then each owner picked players until each had a full roster,” said Yahola. “Teams accrued points based on how well the players they picked performed during the season.”
Aug. 20, 2022, kicked off the draft day, and the last games players could get points were played on Jan. 8. The league lasted for 17 weeks ending in a championship tournament. Fantasy sports are no different regarding trash-talking, and players could do so in the league’s group chat.
The WICC purchased a league championship trophy, and the inaugural champion was Stephanie Rogers. Her name was engraved onto a plate and added to the side of the trophy. She will hold onto it until next season when she must defend her title.
The center is already considering what can be added for next year since the event was successful. One inspiration stemmed from the fact that many national fantasy football organizations charge a small entry fee for charities.
“Great things are being done locally by volunteers that could always use support,” said Yahola. “This could be something we do even as soon as the upcoming 2023 Football season.”
Yahola also said, “most leagues rarely retain all of their owners year to year, so some will have to be replaced.”
League size ranges between 6 – 32, but WICC would like to keep theirs between 8 and 12. However, more leagues can be created under the Wetumka Indian Community Fantasy Football League (WICFFL). Anyone interested in joining the 2023 fantasy football season can email Eric Yahola at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 405-712-4831.