Girl’s flag football pilot league finishes first games

Lapeer High School Plays in First Sanctioned Girl's Flag Football League in Michigan
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 9:38 AM EDT
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LAPEER, Mich. (WNEM) - For the first time ever, Michigan is having sanctioned girl’s high school flag football games.

Week one took place at the home of the Detroit Lions, Ford Field.

Mid-Michigan’s very own Lapeer Lightning took part in the first four games. The high schools that joined Lapeer in the pilot league were Holly, Rochester Community Schools, and Madison Heights Bishop Foley.

After receiving their equipment and starting practice on May 2, the girls were ready to hit the gridiron for their first game of the season. Before the game began, the girls were enjoying every moment of the experience.

“You know, hopefully in 10, 20 years, you know, if they have daughters and their daughters get ready to play some flag football they can say, ‘I was part of that first ever game in the state of Michigan.’ So that’s a pretty cool thing that they can take forever,” said Tony Merlo, head coach for Lapeer’s girl’s flag football team.

At Sunday night’s game, Lapeer faced off with Holly in the first match-up of the pilot league season. The defense was dominant at the beginning of the game, with a pair of interceptions including one that went coast-to-coast for the first touchdown in the league’s history.

The offense was strong as well moving up and down the field making big plays. At the end, Lapeer won 33-13.

“I think we did great like for our first game playing all of us all together. I think we played great, and the chemistry was really there between everyone and our offense and defense worked perfectly,” said Lauren Brown, senior quarterback for Lapeer.

With week one of the pilot league complete, everyone is hoping this is just the beginning of girl’s flag football as a high school sport in Michigan.

“Ultimately, the idea is that it becomes a sanctioned sport in the MHSAA level,” said Chris Fritzsching, executive director of football education for the Detroit Lions. “It’s going to take some time, no question about it. But the more interest there is out there in playing this game, I think the more school districts and athletic directors can see, you know, this is a viable opportunity.”

The teams will have two more games this year. They will play at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills the week of May 8, and the week after that, they will play at the Detroit Lions training facility in Allen Park.

If any high school is interested in joining the girl’s flag football league next season, click here.

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