A League of Their Own

The Sierra Vista Girls Flag Football Team is ready to get started.

By Rich Whittington

(Baldwin Park) How many times have we heard fans exclaiming from the stands at football games, “Girls Can’t Play Football” or “This is a MAN’S game. You need to find something else!” Well, ladies, CIF finally got the message. Women’s Flag Football is now a bonified part of the sports landscape, and it is taking off in a grand fashion.

Flag football is a bit different than the game that is played on Friday nights. First, there is no blocking. You read that correctly, blocking will earn you a 15-yard penalty. Next, you are only allowed to run one time during each set of downs. Other differences include there being seven players on the field for each team, the field dimensions being 30-40 yards wide by 50-80 yards long, and the time consisting of two 20-minute running halves. This sport encourages a solid passing attack, and that is what you can expect to see during the upcoming games.

The sport is big in the Bay area. Additionally, it has started off well in our beach cities. Finally, it has made its way to the Mid-Valley. With all the hype, this was something that I had to see for myself. So, I did some research, found out that some of our local schools were currently fielding teams, and off I went for a quick look/see.

I contacted the Athletic Director at Sierra Vista High School, Ms. Robyn Garcia, who was more than enthusiastic about me visiting the school. Ms. Garcia put me in touch with Coach Luis Verduzco, who provided me with the location and time that the team practiced. We agreed on a time for my visit, which was scheduled for Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at 4:00 PM.

I showed up a few minutes early. The players were beginning to stretch, as the Coach and I spoke for a couple of minutes. Coach Verduzco stated that he had been working with these girls for three years and stated that “Some of these girls had never played a sport in High School, but they have found a home here. That’s what I love about this sport.”

As the practice continued, I did not see a group of girls that were out to “play football”. I saw a group of dedicated athletes, working hard to master their craft, so that they might have success in their upcoming competitions. The passes were crisp, the catches were true, and the attitude made me believe that success was within their grasp. If dedication and hard work are truly the keys to success, then these young women will have to find a very large trophy case to display the awards that they will undoubtedly be bringing back to the Sierra Vista campus.

A quick word with some of the athletes gave me some insight into why these young women were attracted to this sport. Senior Itzel Escobar was more than willing to answer my questions. When asked why she was playing flag football, she replied, “It caught my attention, and it “Felt like another side of me.” When I asked if she enjoyed it, Itzel gave the sport high praise, stating that she “enjoys it as much as soccer.”

Sisters Maya and Sandra Cervantez had similar responses to my questions. Maya, a sophomore, listed her reason for playing as simply, “I needed a sport.” She continued by saying that she, “Didn’t like it a first, but she likes it now.” Maya also said that her favorite part of the game is, “when the other team is hard.” Sandra, a junior, listed her reasons for playing as, “conditioning for soccer, and opportunity to meet the coaches.” Sandra finished by saying that she, “likes it a lot”, but that she, “Still likes soccer better.”

Junior Lotus Wu has a similar story about how she got involved with flag football. Lotus stated, “When I got to high school, I was having trouble finding a sport.” She heard about the tryouts, and decided, “this is for me.” When asked if she liked playing flag football, Lotus provided a resounding response, “I love it.”

Rounding out the roster for Sierra Vista are Nathalie Arellano, Christina Contreras, Dalila Heredia, Taylor Kadolph, Breanna Manriquez, Mia Miramontes, Damaris Peralta, Kristina Ramirez, Alyssa Romero, Natasha Sinvongsa, Natalia Tovar, and Elizabeth Vargas.

The “Lady Dons” play their first game at home on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at 3:45 PM. Their opponent will be the “Lady Eagles” from South El Monte. Come on out and take a look. I think that most football fans will like what they see.

12 Comments to "A League of Their Own"

  1. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    September 22, 2023 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

    @Walt Disnee,

    Then let’s stop playing soccer which has more concussion per capita. Stop boxing and MMA. No more wrestling. You can get hit with a baseball in the head so let’s stop that too. No more basketball because you can fall on a hardwood floor. While we’re at it, those bicyclists who ride on the street need to be banned to. No more fun! Let’s just stay indoors and be safe and sound. E Sports for all!

  2. NWO's Gravatar NWO
    September 21, 2023 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    Invite them to the SGV Shootout next season.

  3. Rich Whittington's Gravatar Rich Whittington
    September 20, 2023 - 10:31 pm | Permalink

    What I saw today was definitely real. The games are different, yes, but both are enjoyable. Give it a shot.

  4. No Such Thing's Gravatar No Such Thing
    September 20, 2023 - 7:52 pm | Permalink

    This flag stuff is going to be almost exactlly the same as the 7-on-7 tourneys that we all know and love. In other words, it’s not real football.

  5. Walt Disnee's Gravatar Walt Disnee
    September 20, 2023 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Another Anonymous dope. Sure football has some positive effects but if you read at all it has more negative. From head and permanent bodily injury to the gang think that leads to domestivc violence and crime. From Mater Dei to Cathedral. Even HBO had one of their most popular series sub plots about domestic violence brought about by the supposed toughness of football players and how that translates to abusing girl friends. Sure enjoy watching tackle football but quit the “millions of positve impacts on boys lives”. They said the same thing about altar boys and boy scouts.

  6. NWO's Gravatar NWO
    September 19, 2023 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Are girls required to wear headgear? Will they be allowed to try out for tackle football if they so desire? Will coaches look for talent in this newly created sport?

  7. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    September 18, 2023 - 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Football has had a million more positive impacts on young men’s lives than the few negatives on health. Overall the health of football player are much great than the average man, snd most likely better than yours. But you sit there and preach on your soap box, just shut up. Go have a salad n read your book,

  8. @Dr. Atlas's Gravatar @Dr. Atlas
    September 18, 2023 - 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Are you really that dumb? Just a little research proves links between blows to the head and Parkinsons. But facts do not matter to some.clowns. BTW prospective Heisman hopeful Travis Hunter is still in the hospital with a lacerated liver from a dirty hit. I guess that will have no impact on his future either.

  9. Me Fail English? That’s Unpossible.'s Gravatar Me Fail English? That’s Unpossible.
    September 18, 2023 - 6:05 am | Permalink

    @? Ali had Parkinson’s which contributed to his physical and outwardly mental decline. But don’t let that get in the way of your sad and unfunny punchline.

  10. ?'s Gravatar ?
    September 17, 2023 - 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Here’s to flags success. If you stayed up to watch tackle football and the Colorado-Colorado St. game you saw hitting more vicious than a Game of Thrones massacre. So vicious it had daddy Prime weeping over his son and players. I’am positive the hospitals have a few players staying over night concerned about serious internal injuries. This is what all teams facing Colorado will do. Come out hitting Colorado with brass knuckes, kidney punches,sucker punches and night sticks. Remember Ali. He started out bragging then backing it up. He ended up a basket case to put it kindly. Turns out he wasn’t ducking as many punches as the press said he did.

  11. Footballfan's Gravatar Footballfan
    September 17, 2023 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    Great story Tim!
    From T. Peterson: Thanks but this story was actually written by Rich Whittington.

  12. No Such Thing's Gravatar No Such Thing
    September 17, 2023 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    Eliminating contact in football is going to happen about the same time we eliminate lying from politics.

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