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Lompoc girls flag football making history in their inaugural season - FlagSpin

Lompoc girls flag football making history in their inaugural season

As of this year, girls flag football is a CIF-recognized sport. For Lompoc High School, they didn’t waste the opportunity to make history thanks, in part, to the forwardness of athletic director Claudia Terrones in an athletic director’s meeting at Nipomo High School last year.

“Right away I raised my hand and said, Lompoc will have a team without even knowing we had the numbers,” Terrones recalled.

It turns out, participation wouldn’t be a problem. According to Terrones, to start the season, Lompoc fielded 27 players including a few of her own family that included two of her daughters Tara and Tiana Terrones and assistant coach/husband, Paul Terrones.

“My first thought was like, ‘Oh my gosh’,” Tara said. “I was so excited.”

Many of the other players felt the same when it was introduced that flag football was coming to Lompoc.

“I’ve always wanted to play football since I was little,” freshman Madison Caballero explained “But then I never could because everybody thought it’s just like a boy sport. When I heard that it was coming to Lompoc, I was really excited because I thought it would be something new to try.”

“I wanted to make history and I just knew it would be fun,” junior Giselle Silva added.

With NFL teams taking an interest in sponsoring youth flag football teams, the sport has gained a head of steam in recent years. For players like Tara and junior Ava Gallegos, seeing it pop up on social media was in factor in joining the team.

“I was just like, ‘Oh, that’s a pretty cool sport that I want to try and then knowing that it came to Lompoc, I was pretty stoked about it.”

However, in its first year, Lompoc was the only school from the Central Section to field a team, forcing them to play teams in the Santa Barbara area but Head Coach Ashley Coelho think that will change next year.

“I think it’s only going to go up from here. I think that each year we’re going to see more and more schools.”

Despite the learning curve and road blocks of learning the rules and finding teams to play, on Aug. 24, in their first game against Santa Barbara High School, got a historic first win on their home field winning 19-12.

“I think the most fun part we’ve had was our first win,” Tara Terrones explained. “It was a pretty great feeling and just everybody was excited and happy for one another and for our team.”

It was also a family affair with Tara throwing a touchdown to her little sister Tiana for the first score of the season with her mom watching proudly from the sidelines

“It’s pretty cool, especially it being the very first one ever at the school and I was just it was a very happy in the moment and even right now. But it was exciting.”

“That’s history right there and so nobody will ever take that away,” Claudia Terrones added.

While it was emotional and joyful to see the team’s first victory, both Claudia Terrones and Coelho agree ethat the wins and losses aren’t the most important thing this season.

“At the end of the day, this is a great experience win or loss,” Coelho explained. “It’s offering the women another opportunity for athletics.”

“Whether we win or lose, the record, to me, does not matter at all this season,” Terrones said. “It’s just about having the opportunity for little girls to see that there is a sport for them with flag football when they get to Lompoc High.”

According to Terrones and Coelho, the interest is high among other teams in the Central Section and along the central coast that come next year, there could be enough teams to form a league of their own.

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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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