BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Saturday, hundreds of girls from 20 different Section VI and Section V schools took the field at the ADPRO Sports Training Complex to kickoff the first ever girls high school flag football season with training drills and intersectional scrimmages.
“I’m seeing a lot of people I know from other sports, meeting new people, it’s just the people working it are bringing a lot of energy, the girls playing it are bringing a lot of energy. It’s a lot of fun,” Hamburg senior Kathryn O’Brien said.
“It’s so much fun. There’s a lot going on right now because it’s three games at the same time but you just have to be in the moment, feel what’s happening, and it’s a lot of fun when you’re playing with the people you enjoy hanging out with,” Amherst freshman Sydney Crozier said.
“This is one of those things in life that’s completely unexpected and comes out of nowhere,” Amherst assistant coach Rich Crozier said. “Sydney is really a swimmer, she came home and said, ‘Hey dad, I’m going to play flag football in the spring, it’s something I’m interested in.’ Coach Kensy grabbed me during the basketball season and said would you want to help out? And here we are now, in the Bills field house, of all things I’m coaching football and coaching my daughter, it’s something you never would have believed.”
The inaugural girls flag football season officially starts with games next week, and for the girls on the 12 WNY teams that are a part of the pilot program this year, they know they’re setting the precedence for the future.
“I just want to set a nice example for the future and put that bar high so that girls know what to expect and just make this league flourish,” Hamburg senior Elizabeth O’Brien said. “It’s so exciting and it’s such a big thing for girls our age. I think this is really a huge thing for us.”
On the field, these girls are ruthless and unafraid. But off the field, it’s not lost on them that they’re making history with every snap.
“Especially since we’re the first group of girls that are doing it, I was very interested in the sport. I hope that the program grows and every state has it and it’s not just a secluded idea, but that it spreads,” Orchard Park junior Maggie Kelly said.
“For me, it’s cool that this is the first season of many for North Tonawanda and all of the teams that are here,” North Tonawanda junior Molly Lyons said.
“I’m just really proud of the girls. They took a shot to be involved in something, and I think they’re realizing right away that it’s something special,” West Seneca head coach Jim Maurino said.
“I think it’s really cool and great that we’re the first ones,” Orchard Park freshman Halle Seifeld said. “It will keep growing and keep spreading.”
“I think it’s just a cool part of history, it’s a new sport,” North Tonawanda sophomore Erika Kellar said. “I think it should be known, and it’s really fun.”