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Score Atlanta makes big bid on girls flag football - FlagSpin

Score Atlanta makes big bid on girls flag football

Score Atlanta is adding girls flag football to its high school portfolio, with the sport being featured in its 33-year-old Corky Kell + Dave Hunter Classic in 2024.

The girls flag football season will open with four games in the Classic on October 2, potentially having all three state championship winners from last season. All eight teams will be invited to attend the Kell-Hunter luncheons in August with the 22 football teams, which will play their 11 games on August 14-17. The girls will also have their own 7-on-7 tournament on June 19 with as many as 50 schools participating.

The flag teams will be invited to join the football teams at the Georgia High School Football Media Day on July 31 in Atlanta and August 1 in Macon. To end the season, flag football will have its own Georgia Elite Classic, similar to the football Elite all-star games that have been played since 2013.

All the events except the 7-on-7 Tournament will be televised live on the Peachtree Sports Network and streamed digitally on the Atlanta News First app and the National Federation High School Network.

The sport continues to experience tremendous growth in the state, now played at 247 schools around Georgia. The sport was sanctioned in 2020 by the Georgia High School Association and was started two years earlier by a grant given by the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. The Foundation funded a club league in Gwinnett in 2018, adding Cherokee, Forsyth, Henry, Muscogee and Rockdale County the following year.

“There isn’t a hotter high school sport in Georgia,’’ said Score Atlanta President I.J. Rosenberg. “Arthur’s Foundation laid an incredible groundwork which in five years has flag teams at 54 percent of the schools in Georgia. I have been watching the sport closely and feel some day you are going to see girls flag teams playing at every NCAA school. It is a perfect fit for our platforms and we will treat it with the same respect we do for football.’’

The Corky Kell + Dave Hunter Classic Girls 7-on-7 Tournament will take place on June 19 at West Forsyth High School, Midway Park and Sawnee Mountain Park. The event comes four days after the boys’ tournament, which is at Georgia Tech on June 4, 5, 11 and 12. The flag event will be split into 10 groups of five in the morning before a single-elimination tournament in the afternoon.

Girls teams will also be featured at the Georgia High School Football Media Day on July 31 at the IBEW campus and the next day in Macon at a location to be announced. Like the boys, the event will highlight top programs from around the state along with their best players but also their senior classes.

The opening day of the flag football season will take place on October 2 at West Forsyth High School with the Corky Kell + Dave Hunter Flag Classic. The opening day match-up is expected to include Greenbrier, the reigning champs in Class 5-6A, who will play the Class 7A runner up Allatoona at 5:30 p.m. The following game is expected to feature three-time champion Southeast Bulloch vs. Blessed Trinity at 6:30. At 7:30, Class A-4A runner-up North Oconee will be playing against Lithia Springs and the event will wrap up with the Class 7A defending champ Pope going up against host West Forsyth at 8:30.

Girls flag football will also be a part of the annual Georgia Elite Classic. The girls flag football all-star games will take place on December 26-27, while the boys portion will commence in Rome on December 26-28. The Classic will feature two televised girls flag football all-star games on December 27, the first highlighting the underclassmen at 3:30 while the seniors kick off at 5. Both of the all-star games will be televised live on the Peachtree Sports Network, and streamed digitally on the Atlanta News First app and the National Federation High School Network. A site in Atlanta for the Georgia Elite Classic Flag Football All-Star Games will be announced at a later date.

For 2024, flag football in Georgia will move from three classifications to four, each having between 60-80 schools.

“I have to thank West Forsyth athletics director Brett Phipps, who has been at the forefront of flag football since it started,’’ said Rosenberg. “West has been one of our host for the Classic games and has really added to the experience for our student-athletes. Also, West has the experience of putting on the flag games as they have done tournaments the last two years. As we will be making more announcements soon which includes a lot more high school content for the new Peachtree Sports Network including a daily show five times a week during the school year, we are going to be more focused on girls’ sports and not just flag football. It’s time for this to happen. If you get a chance, just go to the internet and google a roster from a school in the SEC and ACC and go from one girls’ sport to another and look at the number of players from Georgia. In fact, Georgia girls are playing all over the country at all levels. It’s time to recognize that.’’

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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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