Girls high school flag football concludes first season in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Girls high school flag football concludes first season in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – On Sunday at Bank of America Stadium, the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte-Mecklenburg High School closed out the first season of girls high school flag football.

Chambers was the winner of the league title, but this is more than a championship. It’s about the exposure to the sport and the doors it could open, as well as the new found confidence it’s bringing to these girls.

“I was a little scared,” Butler freshman Brooklyn Saunders said when describing the first time he went out to flag football. “I said, ‘Can I get a ball?’ But it’s been a really fun experience to come out here and be able to prove myself wrong and other people wrong that I can play flag football.”

Soccer is such a male dominated sport, but girls love the sport too and with flag football developing, some are finally getting the chance to participate in the sport they truly love, while others they get to step up and add their portfolio. .

“Most of my team doesn’t play sports, so this is their first high school sport they’ve played,” Saunders said.

“We have cheerleaders on the team, basketball players. softball players, people who have played soccer, volleyball, we have athletes from all different sports playing this game,” Chambers coach Tiana Alexander said. “I remember the first day I created the group chat. I left it for maybe five minutes, I’m back to over 2k messages.”

So there is no doubt that there is interest and excitement.

Although this first year was a pilot program, the hope is to get the sport sanctioned as a varsity sport as it has in 6 other states.

It was sanctioned in Georgia in 2020, and nearly 200 schools field teams and play and televise their championships on the same weekend as the state boys high school soccer championship.

Flag football is growing, and as it does, it’s opening new doors that these girls may never have had the opportunity to step past high school.

“There are also scholarship opportunities for these girls at the varsity level to play flag football,” CMS Director of Athletics Ericia Turner said. “As much as we can create more opportunities for girls, this is the time to do it.”

“But it’s also about coaching,” said Panthers legend and women’s flag football league ambassador Mike Rucker. “It gives them a different perspective of playing flag football. If they want to get into coaching, I think there’s a lot of opportunity and you can see where it’s really going to take off and have a lot of height as more people start to hear about it in different counties upstate. Caroline.”

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