The New York Jets and Nike recently partnered to give some New Jersey high school girls a chance to play flag football. That pilot season has finally kicked off.
“It’s definitely been great because it’s hard because of COVID. It’s been hard to be on a team together and with the flag football team, it’s been a great way to meet other people,” says Morristown junior Mabel Acuna-Casey.
The pilot program has been a hit with the eight participating schools. Most of the girls began the season with no experience. But in a few short weeks, they already have a passion for the game.
“It opens up a lot for many people, like not just girls. It’s going to make other people want to do more things because they see girls stepping up to the plate,” says East Orange junior Triniti Haskins.
The players say that it already feels like a sisterhood and that they are thrilled for the opportunity. They have been provided with new uniforms and equipment.
“Nike sponsored us too, and the Jets, so I’m grateful for it – gloves, everything. Cleats, socks, I’m so grateful for it,” says East Orange junior Jessica Felix.
The girls say that even though they are competing against each other, they are working together for the same goal.
“I think it’s important for girls to grow up seeing people who look like them, doing things they want to do. So I just think it’s really important that they can have girls to see that they can play girl’s football in high school,” says Morristown junior Olivia Schubiger.
While the league is not a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association-sanctioned sport, the teams say they hope it could be in the future.