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The Gym Bag: 8 Island-based flag footballers set to compete with national teams Friday in Florida - FlagSpin

The Gym Bag: 8 Island-based flag footballers set to compete with national teams Friday in Florida

A dream will come true for eight players with ties to Staten Island flag football as they will compete on the U.S. National 17U and 15U teams in two friendlies — which are part of the Flag Football Life Championship — Friday in Florida.

This marks the first time that girls’ flag is part of the U.S. National Team program.

The eight players, seven of them Islanders, will all represent the Staten Island Giants Flag Football organization.

The five 17U players are Jade Mazziotta (Moore Catholic), Allision Gandlin (McKee/Staten Island Tech), Jenna Burgos-Marrero (Tottenville), Victoria Rosas (Tottenville) and Adelaide Videon (Point Pleasant HS), who resides in New Jersey.

Olivia Rijo (Susan Wagner), Sarah Colchamiro (Susan Wagner) and Madison Mayas (Lois Nicotra Charter) are the 15U players.

The eight punched their tickets south by impressing at a combine-like tryout last summer in Indianapolis, where 18 Staten Island Giants participated.

The squads will play against Select Teams built by Flag Football Life, a preferred athlete scouting partner of USA Football, at the Sportsplex of Tampa Bay.

“Girls flag football is exploding nationwide,” said Flag Football Life Owner Mike Reimel, who has led youth flag tournaments for more than 10 years, giving him a front-row seat to girls flocking to football. “More high schools are picking it up, more events are being created, colleges are giving scholarships out – it’s an exciting time.”

The 15U teams will square-off at 6:30 p.m., followed by the 17Us at 7:30 p.m.

Fans can catch live streams of both games through Flag Football Life’s Facebook page.

The elite competition in Tampa will further prepare the U.S. Girls Flag National Teams to face the world’s top girls national teams in their age group this June at a global flag football series hosted by USA Football. Location and other details of this summer’s international flag event will be announced this spring.

“We won’t have many opportunities to practice and play together so this exhibition will be huge,” said 15U head coach Elliott Giles. “This will also be the first time that these girls have played together as well, so the team bonding and camaraderie is just as important.”

U.S. Girls 17U Head Coach Liz Sowers echoed Giles’ thoughts.

“The thing that I have learned the most from both being a player at the top level, and a coach, is that you can have the best athletes on the field, but at the end of the day if you haven’t actually played together, it’s a true battle,” said Sowers, a three-time U.S. Women’s National Team gold medalist athlete, also is the head coach of the NAIA National Champion Ottawa (Kan.) University women’s flag team.

Friday’s games will be played in a 5 vs. 5 format under International Federation of American Football (IFAF) rules.

Wagner men’s basketball ranked 25th in Mid-Major Top-25 Poll

The Wagner College men’s basketball team checks in at #25 in the latest Mid-Major Top-25, released by

This marks the Seahawks’ first appearance in the poll this season. Wagner is the only Northeast Conference (NEC) team ranked in the poll.

The Seahawks are 8-2 this season and have started conference play with a 4-0 mark.

Nationally, Wagner is ranked 121st in the KenPom rankings and 63rd in the NCAA’s NET rankings. The Seahawks are 23rd nationally in scoring defense (60.3 ppg), 24th in steals per game (+9.4), 27th in rebound margin (+7.7), 26th in scoring margin (+14.3), 31st in turnovers forced (16.7/game), 40th in 3P percentage defense (.292), and 45th in field goal percentage (.475).

Nine Wagner grid players land on All-NEC Teams

The Wagner College football team placed nine players on the Phil Steele All-Northeast Conference (NEC) teams, led by senior Titus Leo, who earned NEC Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-NEC, and Third Team All-America honors by the magazine.

Additionally, offensive lineman Xavier Bryson (third team), wide receiver Naeim Simmons (fourth team), and offensive lineman Antonio Williams (fourth team) earned All-NEC honors on the offensive side of the ball.

Defensively, Leo, linebackers Tre Vallar (fourth team) and Jalin Justice (fourth team), as well as defensive back Ahmad Lyons (fourth team) earned All-NEC honors.

Junior Jayvin Little earned fourth team honors as a kick returner, while freshman Josh Brown was selected as the punter on the fourth team.

Leo was recently named a Stats Perform FCS Third All-American and First Team FCS All-American by HERO Sports.

Do you have any good sports news? Send it our way

The Gym Bag publishes on Wednesdays on the web and will appear in the Staten Island Advance shortly after. This is where we will feature short stories, tidbits and morsels about your players or teams going forward in place of the daily game results we used to take.

You can send us interesting information about your team after a strong start to the season, a championship season, a first win, a player who did something extraordinary in a particular game or event, etc.

If you have any news or tidbits like that, please email the sports desk at where we will evaluate the message and see if the content qualifies for our notebook.

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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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