Free camps offered next week in Missoula, Bozeman
By Bill Foley
Girls at Butte High School could soon be playing flag football as a school sport.
That is according to Chuck Merrifield, the activities director of the school.
Merrifield said he will go to the school board later this year to push a proposal that girls’ flag football begin in the fall of 2022, or even sooner.
“I keep wanting to do it in the summer time,” Merrifield said. “Wouldn’t that be cool under the lights at Naranche (Stadium)? Music on Main and girls playing football. But I think it’s going to be fall.”
The AD said he was hoping to get the ball rolling in time to start a team this year, but the push simply ran out of time. He said some schools around the state might have teams this fall, but was not sure how many.
First, Merrifield would like to get a gauge as to how many girls are interested in playing. So, he is encouraging girls to attend free camps in Missoula and Bozeman next week.
The camps, put on by the Atlanta Falcons, will run Wednesday at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula and Thursday at Bobcat Stadium in Bozeman. Each camp runs from noon to 3 p.m.
(Click here to register for the Missoula camp. Click here to register for the Bozeman camp.)
The camps are touted as a way to learn flag football skills, rules and fundamentals. It will feature drills led by “Atlanta Falcons Legends.” Click here to see camp flyer.
Interested players are not required to attend the camps. Merrifield, though, said a good turnout of Butte players will definitely help the push for a team at Butte High.
“We’re going to advertise to see how many girls are interested,” Merrifield said. “I’m betting it will the fastest girls sport pretty quick. It will be cool. It will be fun to see if any girls will show up there.”
Merrifield added that the Montana High School Association will offer girls’ flag football as a trial to start. A successful trial would lead to instating girls’ flag football as a full sport.
Girls’ flag football is growing quickly in other parts of the country, Merrifield said, adding it is only a matter of time before it is huge in Montana.
“They are having huge success in the southern part of the United States,” Merrifield said. “It’s grown 10-fold.”