Rancho Cordovan Named Flag Football Hall of Famer

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG)  |  By Shelly Lembke
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Willie Sloan poses with his well-earned awards from his team. “Gridiron Gamers based out of North Sacramento. The team I played on is a top level competitive local, and travel team,” says Sloan. We have played as far down south as San Diego, to as far as up north as Tacoma, WA, in various 8 men full contact flag football tournaments.” -- Photo courtesy Willie Sloan

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Sloan still in action. “I am a former Cordova High football player, Class of 1985, who transitioned to a 4-year stint in the military and on to the past 22 years of playing 8 on 8 Men’s Full Contact flag football here in the Sacramento area.” -- Photo courtesy Willie Sloan

Willie Sloan first came to Rancho Cordova in the 1980s. Ever since then he has continued to be a presence in the sports circles of the City. After his mother read media accounts, the family purposefully moved to Rancho Cordova during the Cordova High football program’s powerhouse days, specifically so Sloan could play here. Although it’s been decades since Sloan played football at Cordova High School, he has remained an active and avid player, including making the switch from full contact to flag football. That dedication to the sport recently resulted in Sloan earning an inaugural place in the Central Valley Flag Football Hall of Fame. Sloan graciously gave the following in a recent interview.

Q: Please tell me about yourself. How did you come to Rancho Cordova, how are you still involved?

A: I came to the City of Rancho Cordova from New Jersey in 1982 via my father retiring from the Air Force. I also, still currently reside within the City of Rancho Cordova. I am involved in a few little things at the moment within the community of Cordova Villa, but I am always open and looking to be more involved within the community and/or City of Rancho Cordova. I am currently one of the organizers for what we call the “Villa Reunion.” The Villa Reunion is a group of us from my old neighborhood who decided last year, that it would be nice for our community to organize, and try to bring the community together once on year (1st weekend in June) for a community reunion and barbeque picnic. This year, after a successful year last year, will be our second year.

Q: How did you become involved in sports here and what was the experience like for you?

A: I became involved in the sports in the City of Rancho Cordova by way of attending Cordova High School in the Mid 80’s (1985). However, even before then I have always been involved in sports in general since I was a little kid. The experience of sports however, was nothing like I have ever experienced before my arrival to the City of Ranch Cordova. The City of Rancho Cordova, just carries so much weight, legacy, tradition, city and community love and support that even [to] this day, I have yet to see being matched.

Q: What lessons from sports did you take with you into your adult life and everyday world?

A: The biggest thing the I took from being involved in organized sports the is the ability to “want to work with others” if you want to be more successful, and the willingness to be accountable/responsible for your part. In my adult life, that has since translated into being more of people person, not being afraid to ask for help if I ran into a challenge I know I could not achieve on my own, and being accountable, taking personal responsibility and knowing thing will always work out in the end.

Q: What do you think about youth and adult sports available in the area?

A: Youth and Adult sports in the City of Rancho Cordova, as well as any other city if very important. It not only promotes the idea and development of how to work with each other on the youth level, but it also provides comradery on the adult level.

Q: Who should be involved and why?

A: I feel as many people should be involved if they love the sports scene. I just turned 50, and I’m still looking for sports activity to play since my retirement from flag football. I think sports are good connection barrier for people ranging from all ages. Youth to adults and even seniors. The personal and live interaction can do wonders for those who aren’t really into the whole social (media) scene.

Q: What additional things would you like our readers to know about you?

A: I love spending time with family and friends. Lifelong friendships are important to me, so I tend to hold them close, as well as my family. I love laughing and acting goofy when I’m with my fiancé, the times we spend together are special. I come from a family of 5 women, and I’m the youngest and only boy, so I’m very spoiled. I’ve been playing full contact flag football for over 20 years. Since being inducted into the CVFA Flag Football Hall of Fame June 2016, I have since announced my retirement. However, I am always looking for a way to get back out there…”