This week Chatfield High School is celebrating an accomplishment no Colorado school has achieved before – a championship in girl’s flag football.
It’s all part of a new, which is aimed at expanding access to the game.
Chatfield is one of 25 schools from 3 Denver metro area school districts taking part in the three-year pilot. Of the 550 players participating, close to 80 played for Chatfield.
“I think the ability to have more girls’ sports in the fall that they can participate in is huge, and I think a lot of teams and schools are seeing that,” said Alexis Rosholt, Chatfield’s coach. “I can’t imagine how much this is going to grow in a couple of years.”
A Wednesday morning assembly at Chatfield High brought all the typical sights and sounds, with one difference from other celebratory gatherings. On this day, the trophy being presented was for girl’s flag football, a sport no player had played competitively before.
“It was so fun to learn all the positions and all the plays and everything,” said Maddy Hindes. “It was all just so exciting seeing how everything just kind of came together.”
“I’ve definitely hit my peak in life right here with winning the trophy,” said Alexis McClellan. “It was the most fun I’ve ever had with a sport.”
This past weekend, the Chatfield Chargers won the first-ever girls’ flag football championship. The pilot program included jamborees at three district stadiums, followed by a playoff and championship game at the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse in Centennial.
“It’s been a primary goal of ours for one day for this to be a CHSAA-sanctioned sport,” said Bobby Mestas, Broncos Director of Youth and High School Activities.
Now, that goal is closer than ever before. Recently, CHSAA officially approved its own two-year pilot program required for a potentially sanctioned sport, Mestas told CBS4. While a major development, new challenges remain, including finding more schools, coaches, and funding.
“We don’t want to grow too big too fast; I think there is a sweet spot. I think the plan is to grow, not just here in town, but across the state,” Mestas said.
For Chatfield’s players, this season was one of new experiences. Not only did they learn the game’s intricacies, but they also played the championship game on the day of the homecoming dance.
“We took pictures beforehand, played a championship game and won the whole thing, and then went straight to the dance,” said Hindes, a junior on the team.
Across the short season, there were also invaluable lessons for the girls and others along for the ride.
“I think we showed that it’s not just a guy’s sport,” Hindes said. “Girls can 100% do it too.”
Moving forward, the CHSAA pilot program will merge with the Broncos’ program for the next two years, Mestas said. He estimated that seven states currently have girls flag football sanctioned.
Source: Rocky Mountain News
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