Girls flag football players were in for a special treat when they were awarded new jerseys during a presentation held at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium Oct. 13.
The jerseys were revealed to players from all 16 participating high schools in the Rams’ and Chargers’ locker rooms at SoFi Stadium. The teams also received USA Football flag kits and Gatorade products.
The jersey unveiling came on the heels of the CIF Southern Section voting to make girls flag football an official sport beginning in the 2023-24 school year.
The Rams and Chargers co-sponsor 16 teams by providing players with uniforms courtesy of Nike, stipends for coaches, coaching manuals, officials, athletic trainers, as well as equipment and transportation for the seven-week season.
The league features teams from Crenshaw High School, Gardena Serra High School, Inglewood High School, Hamilton High School, Hawthorne High School, King Drew High School, Lawndale High School, Leuzinger High School, Long Beach Poly High School, Morningside High School, Redondo Union High School, Rise Kohyang High School, Santee High School, Sierra Vista High School, St. Bernard High School, and YULA Girls High School.
Following the jersey unveil, Team USA’s Women’s Flag and Tackle Football athletes, including Darcy Leslie, Elizabeth Sowers and Vanita Krouch, participated in a panel discussion about the power of football and the importance of the league.
“To me flag football is family. The people who I have met are loyal, they love you, they support you, you cry together, and you win together,” said Vanita Krouch, Team USA Women’s Flag athlete. “The other small part about flag football to me is that it is a sport that anybody can do regardless of size, height, weight, or gender. What that guy can do, you can do it too. It is family and an equalizer. Nothing is impossible, you can do it all. Stay on top of learning the game and never settle.”
The coaches from Inglewood were very excited as they were part of the inaugural teams sponsored by the Chargers and Rams earlier this year.
“These jerseys are a blessing as our old jerseys were stolen at the end of last season,” said Jason Beresford, coach of the Inglewood High school team. “The girls have fun, learn teamwork, and gain leadership skills through playing.”
Wanzel King, with the Beyond the Rim Girls Club, is one of the coaches for the Morningside High School team and finds the inclusion of girl’s flag football as a sanctioned sport through CIF a blessing.
“The girls are excited and most play other sports like basketball and this provides cross-training for them,” said King.
She hopes the momentum continues with girl’s flag football becoming a professional sport just as girls’ basketball has.
The girl’s flag football games are played at Ed Vincent Park which began last weekend and are played on weekends.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist for 2UrbanGirls.com.