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Lady Barons get it done, advance to inaugural girls flag football title game - FlagSpin

Lady Barons get it done, advance to inaugural girls flag football title game

From left, Bonita Vista’s Tatiana Colon (1), Malyna Castillo (6) and Jamiya Valenciano (8). Photo by Phillip Brents

The inaugural season of girls flag football was an unqualified success. More than 40 teams across the San Diego Section participated, including those in Imperial County and all 13 Metro Conference teams.

Bonita Vista earned the No. 1 seed in the Division I playoffs and, two playoff wins later, finds itself staring at second-seeded Torrey Pines in Thursday’s division championship game at Escondido High School.

The Lady Barons (18-1) defeated eighth-seeded Scripps Ranch, 33-6, in the quarterfinals on Nov. 9 and fourth-seeded Calexico, 33-13, in Tuesday’s semifinals.

The game has obviously planted roots in just its first season.

“Everyone is excited to play and learn,” BVHS head coach Tristan Lamb said. “It’s a good opportunity for girls to learn and experience a sport for the first time.”

“It feels good,” Lady Baron senior Tatiana Colon added. “We had a group of girls who wanted to get after it. They came out with confidence and to get experience playing a sport. It was a good feeling.”

Bonita Vista players celebrate Tuesday’s semifinal victory against visiting Calexico. Photo by Phillip Brents

Bonita Vista built an insurmountable 33-0 lead before Scripps Ranch scored its only touchdown near the end of the game. It was bombs away for most of the night for the Lady Barons, who repeatedly scored on deep passes from senior quarterback Malyna Castillo. Junior Jamiya Valendcano was the recipient of two prodigious passes while senior Tatiana Colon also caught a long ball and returned an interception for a touchdown in the quarterfinal match-up.

Castillo passed for 227 yards with three touchdowns. Valenciano caught five passes for 114 yards, including a 60-yarder. Freshman Sofia Garay had one touchdown while senior Shania White had one sack and led the team with nine tackles.

The hosts grabbed three interceptions in Tuesday’s game to defuse the Calexico attack. Freshman Mia Ramirez had two picks while Valenciano had one. White had two sacks.
Castillo passed for 314 yards with five touchdowns. Senior Mahliya Wilson had eight catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns while Garay had three catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Valenciano had five catches for 85 yards and one TD.

“Calexico scored first and we answered quickly afterward,” Lamb said in regard to Tuesday’s semifinal contest. “We answered next and kept going from there.”

Bonita Vista led, 22-6, at halftime.

Sofita Garay has been an impact contributor as a freshman. Photo by Phillip Brents

Torrey Pines, which also received a bye in the opening round, defeated 10th-seeded Brawley, 14-13, in the quarterfinals and third-seeded Grossmont, 21-18, in the semifinals to remain undefeated on the season at 16-0.

“We came, we saw, we conquered,” Lamb summed up after Tuesday’s victory. “We had the opportunity to be the best in the section. It was a huge win for the school, making history by making it to the first girls flag football championship game. We’re doing it for the city. The girls feel good about it.”

“It was good for the school to have tackle and flag football both do well,” Bonita Vista athletic director Tyler Arciaga said. “I think the program is moving in a positive direction and getting more exposure at the school.”

The Division I championship game is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Top-seeded Classical Academy (15-2) will meet third-seeded Cathedral Catholic (13-2) in Thursday’s Division II championship game at 6 p.m.
Eight Metro Conference or South County-based teams qualified for this year’s divisional playoffs: 11th-seeded Olympian joined Bonita Vista in the Division I quarterfinals while sixth-seeded Mater Dei Catholic advanced to the Division II quarterfinals.

Grossmont (12-5) defeated Olympian, 31-9, while Cathedral Catholic eliminated MDC by 20-6 score.

Seventh-seeded Mission Bay upset second-seeded Morse, 30-21, in the Division II quarterfinals while fifth-seeded La Costa Canyon squeaked out an 18-17 win over fourth-seeded Our Lady of Peace.

Bonita Vista has gone from Metro-Mesa League champion to Division I championship finalist. Photo by Phillip Brents

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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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