Local girls flag football team heads to NFL flag championships in Las Vegas

Published: Jan. 29, 2023 at 6:09 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - For the past three years, the softball team of 11-year-old girls, Millard Fury, has been spending their falls on the gridiron. This year, all their hard work has paid off. The Millard United girls flag football team, the Giants, earned a bid to play at the 2023 NFL Girls Flag Championships in Las Vegas in the 10u division.

“It’s good for us because recently we’ve been going up against 8th graders and 7th graders that are two years older than us,” said Giants head coach Corey Cain. “We’ve been taking our lumps and now it’s our turn.”

Having girls flag football as a part of the NFL’s Pro Bowl Games is yet another example of the sport’s growth. In the summer of 2020, the NAIA officially sanctioned women’s flag football. Three years later, 19 NAIA schools across the country have programs, one of which is Midland University in Fremont.

“It’s a faster-paced game. It’s more exciting to watch than some other sports, right? Like softball or soccer,” said Midland head flag coach Jaison Jones. “But, it’s a growing sport though right? So you can get way more money for scholarships than other sports, then why not make a jump?”

Some of Midland’s flag players have been on the sidelines coaching up the Giants ahead of their big trip out West.

“I actually wish when I was younger there was a program that I could’ve been a part of because this new generation of flag girls, they’re beasty,” said Midland wide receiver Dyva Jones. “It’s so amazing getting to watch the game grow.”

“These girls-- they need a hero. They need somebody to look up to and that’s what these girls are to them. I don’t think any of these girls understand that hey look you can go on and play collegiate football. And now they do,” said Cain.

Despite not playing tackle football like boys their age, the Giants have gained just as much knowledge of the game through flag football.

“We’ve got them coming off and we’ve got receivers and quarterbacks going hey look this route is going to work. Let’s run that play. That’s a really cool thing because they are seeing some things that you can’t see from being on the sideline,” said Cain.

While the team started as a fun way to spend the softball off-season, with college scholarships on the line flag football has become a serious option for these girls and their athletic futures.

“Our big goal with this is– for most of the girls here in the city, when they get to 9th grade, flag football is over. So it’s our hopes that at some point in the next couple, few years that these girls continue to play flag football in high school,” said Cain.