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Girls' flag football players, coaches "ecstatic" over it becoming a sanctioned high school sport in Colorado - FlagSpin

Girls’ flag football players, coaches “ecstatic” over it becoming a sanctioned high school sport in Colorado

For Northglenn High School junior Elle Taylor, playing flag football was never something she could have imagined doing as a sport in Colorado.

“I said ‘I know nothing about football, I know nothing about flag football, but sure we’ll try it,'” said Taylor. “I fell in love with it almost instantly.”

That love began last fall when Taylor took part in the Adams 12 Five Star School District’s pilot season of girl’s flag football.

“From learning how to throw a football to becoming the starting quarterback was really fun for me,” she said. “It’s not just about the hitting and the chaos. It’s fun and it’s technical and you just have a blast with people that you love and your community that you love.”

Over 150 girls came out for the district’s pilot season, which was offered at five high schools in the district, including Northglenn.

“We were a little delayed in joining the pilot season for CHSAA but we have had traditionally a lot of interest in girls playing flag football,” said Kylie Russell, Director of Athletics and Activities for the district. “We’ve had homecoming powder puff traditions in Adams 12, so we knew there was going to be a lot of girls that were involved with this.”

This week, the Colorado High School Activities Association officially voted to sanction girls flag football as an official high school sport for the state of Colorado.

“This a historic moment,” said Jodie Turner, who coaches for the girls team at Mountain Range High School. “Colorado is the 11th state out of 50 to have high school girls flag football.”

“I’m pumped,” said Russell. “To have this become sanctioned is a no brainer in my opinion. It was a win for females all across the state of Colorado and we all know the benefits that sports play in our children’s lives.”

Russell says sanctioning flag football as a girls sport for high schoolers offers a new avenue for girls like Taylor to take part in high school sports and get the recognition they deserve for playing the sport.

“There will be a postseason, there will be a state championship. Girls will have the opportunity to letter with it being a varsity sport now,” said Russell. “We’ve set aside funding for this as it will become a new sport in this next cycle. Part of our funding for athletics with go to paying for coaches, providing transportation for those athletes, paying for officials, paying for any equipment that might be needed, and uniforms.”

 Turner, who has been playing the sport for over 12 years on top of now coaching, says the announcement this week nearly brought her to tears.

“I know how much flag football changed my life, and, in just one short year, in the two-and-a-half months that we had with these student athletes, the girls were just ecstatic.”

Coach Turner says she knows this sport will only continue to expand in Colorado and change young lives.

“With the Olympics coming up in 2028, this gives Colorado girls a heads up or a leg up to be able to compete for those sports,” she said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we did have someone or multiple girls from the state of Colorado that compete on those Olympic teams.”

Competing is something that’s already on Taylor’s mind, as she now prepares to take on another, official, flag football season this fall.

“My oldest brother, I think he’s one of my biggest supporters, and he really wants me to try for the Olympics,” said Taylor.

Above all, though, she hopes this news entices even more girls to take part in football.

“I think it’s incredible, I think it’s a step in the right direction for women’s sports,” she said. “It definitely was one of the happiest moments in the past year that I’ve had.”

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