The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Girls flag football to be added to WCHS as a new fall sport

Photo courtesy @DawgsSports on Instagram
Many girls at WCHS have seen either seen flag football on TV or heard of others who play it and are excited to join the growing movement of expanding girls flag football while showing off their athleticism.

MCPS students scored a touchdown when the county announced that girls flag football was being added to the list of sports for the fall 2024 season. The fast-paced, high-scoring and exciting games will provide yet another sport for WCHS students to play or watch this fall. The recent addition stemmed from a much broader movement to bring girls flag football to high schools.

“MCPS is always looking to do more for our student-athletes and looking at what the growing sports are in our country, but it was the push by the NFL that helped bring this sport to us,” WCHS athletic director Jesse Smith said. “Last year, the Baltimore Ravens and Under Armour helped champion and finance the creation of girls flag football in Frederick County. This year, they wanted to bring this to more counties and asked MCPS to join in.”

The news has received positive feedback from WCHS students who are interested in trying something new and testing their athletic abilities in a different way. The school’s athletic department was amazed by how many female athletes expressed interest in joining the team shortly after they learned that flag football was going to be an option.

“I was quite excited when I saw that [flag football] was being added to MCPS as a sport,” WCHS sophomore Leah Sonnabend said. “Many of my friends who live in other states, like Pennsylvania, have had flag football added to their schools as a sport and watching them play makes it look so much fun. I think it will benefit many students by providing a new opportunity to be involved in athletics at Churchill!”

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Although flag football will be new to MCPS, Frederick County serves as an example of how beneficial this addition is for students. It has proven to be a great option for a diverse range of students and an opportunity for students to get involved regardless of their skill level or prior experience in athletics.

“From what we saw in Frederick County, the addition of flag football helped to bring out student-athletes that don’t typically play a sport in the fall or provide another option to those that were cut from a fall sport,” Smith said. “In fact, Frederick found that over 70% of the participants were new to sports.”

In addition to being an option for new athletes, the sport has attracted attention from current WCHS athletes who already participate in sports but want to expand their athletic repertoire and improve as teammates. Joining flag football will also allow them to meet students who they may have not otherwise interacted with.

“I am very interested in joining the team because it is a fun way to stay in shape for softball season in the spring,” Sonnabend said. “It will also help people make new friends on the team and learn leadership”

Since flag football is a non-contact sport, it poses far less risks than contact sports, like tackle football or lacrosse. Even though it is less dangerous than some other sports, it is still key that safety remains a priority throughout the implementation of the sport.

“I think it is important that Churchill makes sure to take all safety precautions to make sure the girls playing stay healthy and avoid injuries,” Sonnabend said. “Also, it should be ensured that school work comes first so players do not fall behind in their classes.”

Since the news is fairly recent, many details about how the sport will be run are still in the works. Students interested in joining should be sure to keep their eye out for any new information from WCHS and the county.

“At this time, we are still waiting on final details from the county,” Smith said. “I am still in the process of finalizing this, but I do believe that the girls will be very excited about the coaching choice once announced.”

Although some details are yet to be determined, Smith encourages WCHS students interested in participating to get a head start and begin preparing this summer so that they maximize their potential for the fall.

“Learn the game,” Smith said. “Go online and watch some Youtube videos to see how exciting the game is and what to expect. I know once they get out there and start playing, they will love the game!”

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About the Contributor
Lily Chadwick
Lily Chadwick, Photo Manager & Assistant Sports Editor
Lily Chadwick is a sophomore and the Photo Manager of the Observer. This is her second year taking journalism and she is looking forward to bettering her writing while also meeting new people. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, field hockey, going to the beach, and spending time with family & friends.

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