Beaufort County schools to add girls flag football

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, June 20, 2024

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Beaufort County female athletes will have the option this upcoming school year to participate in flag football.

With the success of the sport being seen around the country, Beaufort County will give its female athletes a chance to compete in the sport for the first time.

Northside, Southside, and Washington will each field a team with games being played at Washington High School. Beaufort County schools will be in a conference with Craven and Pitt County schools. The conference will consist of two divisions with Pitt County in one division and Beaufort and Craven County in the second. Their season will consist of three to four Saturdays between mid-November through mid-December with each Saturday consisting of two to three games per school.

“I am for anything that gives our students an opportunity to be involved with a sport,” Southside athletic director Andrea Quinerly said. “The timing is interesting since it’s at the end of volleyball and the beginning of basketball, but we should have enough kids to form a team without affecting either sport. It will be fun to see how it goes.”

Teams will end the year with a conference tournament which at this time will be held at an undetermined location. Each school will receive $2,500 through a program with the Carolina Panthers to cover the cost of uniforms, coaching stipends, game officials and more until the NCHSAA sanctions the sport.

Each school will host interest meetings on the first week of school with the hope of having around 14 players on each team. The number of players on the field at a given time is yet to be determined, but Beaufort County Athletic Director Keith Mitchell said it will be seven on seven or five on five.

In fall of 2023, the number of girls flag football teams in North Carolina rose from 24 teams to 68. With the growing success of the sport, so does Mitchell’s excitement.

“This is going to open up an avenue for female athletics that they have never seen before,” Mitchell said. “The female athletes are going to take off with this.”

Mitchell said the length of games is yet to be determined. Finding coaches will be up to each school.