Forty helmet-clad warriors tear across the turf, their jerseys forming a purple wave. This football squad isn’t the one students have cheered for in seasons past—it’s Piedmont’s brand new girls’ flag football team.
After an unanimous vote by the California Interscholastic Federation in the spring of last year, girl’s flag football became a sanctioned high school sport.
Even in its first season, the sport has already become popular in Piedmont.
“We have by far been the biggest team out of anyone that we’ve competed with.” Smet said.
The next biggest team in the league has 28 players, while Piedmont has a roster of 40 girls. PHS is also the only team in the league with the numbers for both a varsity and junior varsity team.
The team is coached by Smet, English teacher Beth Black, and English and history teacher Hayley Adams.
“I think girls are drawn to the team because it’s new for every single girl. We didn’t have anybody coming in [with years of experience], so there wasn’t really that intimidation factor,” Adams said.
Although the entire team is new to the sport, they do not lack enthusiasm.
“The whole team is really supportive and they really hype you up before the game,” team captain Lana Ivovich said.
“I think we were able to put together a pretty great coaching staff. We definitely got coaches that the kids respected, and that they liked,” Smet said.
However, the coaches are also working with limited experience, either coming from tackle football or new to coaching football altogether.
“It’s been interesting to learn because there are a lot of different rules, and that’s been the biggest thing: taking the knowledge that I had from tackle football and applying it to flag football,” Smet said.
The team practices every day of the week.
“I have never seen a group of harder working girls,” team manager Ellie Hersch said.
Their season ends soon, with their first league championship game on Oct. 28.