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Flag football draws interest from dynamic athletes

By Cali Jones, 07/13/22, 9:15AM EDT


A new sport is set to begin its inaugural season at Carrollton High School this fall and according to the head coach, it has already drawn interest from a dynamic group of female athletes. 

Recently, GHSA made flag football a sanctioned sport across the state and this year, CHS girls will have the opportunity to participate.

In 2018, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation reached out to Gwinnett County Public Schools about the idea of funding girls flag football for the county. The goal was for 10 teams to have a season, but schools had more interest than anticipated. All 19 high schools in Gwinnett County Public Schools participated in the 2019 season where they played 14 regular season games and a playoff.

Though girls flag football has a brief history in Georgia, it’s already off to an exciting start.

In a short time, the sport has grown and nearly 200 schools participate in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) sanctioned leagues.

Becky Benefield, head girls lacrosse coach, will be coaching the team at CHS. She said she and the other coaches involved are excited about the new venture. 

“I think all of the coaches are most excited to not only be a part of a brand new sport at CHS, but to also see the great group of girls who are interested in playing,” she said. “I love that flag football has drawn interest from so many different athletes — softball, volleyball and basketball players, wrestlers, track athletes, soccer and lacrosse players. It’s great that they’ll have an opportunity to play something together.”

Benefield said tryouts for the team will be in September.

“We’ve had close to 100 girls show interest in trying out and many have been showing up for conditioning this summer,” she said. “We are planning to field two teams — a junior varsity and varsity.”

CHS Athletic Director Paul Fitz-Simons said he is looking forward to watching the team grow and evolve.

“I am happy we are able to offer flag football to our female athletes this year,” he said. “It is a great opportunity for them and I am excited to watch the program grow in the years to come.”