The only two sanctioned girls’ flag football teams in southern Arizona play against each other for the first time
TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The budding of a new rivalry in the Old Pueblo as Marana High School Girls’ Flag Football team took on Mountain View High playing each other for the first time since girls’ flag football became a sanctioned sport in Arizona.
The Marana Tigers stay undefeated in Arizona’s inaugural season of girls’ flag football, winning the game against the Mountain Lions, 22-0.
Roxie Singer, the quarterback for the Marana Tigers, has been playing football since she was nine. She never thought she would have the chance to play the sport in high school.
“I never thought I would ever have a chance to play at such a high level,” Singer said. “Now there is college and high school and there is a bunch of youth, I’m happy about it.”
The girls on both teams made history just by playing against each other, as they are only two sanctioned girls’ flag football programs here in southern Arizona.
“This is my first year playing quarterback. Definitely not 100% yet, but we will get there,” Singer said. “I used to play center and I just recently found out I could throw, so I thought I might as well try it out.”
Singer tells 13 News being undefeated this season so far, is an accomplishment she never saw coming.
“I never thought we would be this far. I always have confidence in my team,” Singer said. “I wouldn’t go out and say, ‘Oh, we are going to be undefeated all the way through,’ we take it game by game, and that is kind of how it is for us.”
The Head Coach for Marana High School, Shaun Lara, said in the first season, the Tigers have already shown the power of teamwork.
“Especially right now, because we are the only two teams in southern Arizona playing flag football,” Lara said. “It’s very cool.”
He said that teamwork has led the team to win every game this season.
“I am very excited that Arizona has chosen to make football an AIA-sanctioned sport,” Lara said. “It’s just cool to see the girls forge new territory in a sport like this.”
Jane Nova, the Head Coach for Mountain View High School, said the opportunities the girls are getting go beyond high school.
“I’ve already gotten emails from a college that is already offering scholarships,” Nova said. “So to see this hopefully progress over the years and being able to have girls get into college with scholarships for flag football. I think would be amazing.”
Nova said the girls are learning the importance of working as a team. She encourages the community to fill the stands and support the teams during games.
“The girls are fierce they love to play,” Nova said. “It’s very competitive and passionate.”
According to Del Arvayo, the Chief Operations Officer for Arizona Bowl the passion the girls show is one of the many reasons why the Arizona Interscholastic Association sanctioned girls’ flag football. He said they want everyone to have the chance to play the game.
“To have the opportunity for young ladies to experience football the teamwork, the comradery, the hard work. I think it’s fantastic,” Arvayo said. “It’s a progressive platform for them.”
Whether win or lose, both coaches said their teams are making the way for generations to come.
“They are making history right now, which is huge,” Nova said I don’t think they realize that. They opened the door and thankfully AIA has also opened the door for girls’ flag football to be recognized.”
Lara and Nova agree this is just the start for high school girl flag football in southern Arizona.
“Marana really is stepping out and wanting to be one of the teams to host flag football,” Lara said. “I do see hopefully in the future most Tucson teams start picking it up.”
Singer has a special message for girls of all ages who want to try out the sport for themselves.
“Just keep at it,” Singer said. “It’s a tough game but you will learn eventually I promise.”
There are still a few chances to catch both teams in action.
Marana’s next home game is October 5 against Tolleson High School.
Mountain View High School will play against Vista Grande in Casa Grande on October 2.
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