The newest high school sport for girls in Gwinnett County begins its first games next week.
Each of the school district’s high schools now has a flag football team thanks to a $110,000 donation from the Atlanta Falcons that pays for the equipment and customized uniforms.
The district is among only a handful of school systems in the country to offer the sport.
The demand among girls wanting to play was so high that the county’s largest high school, Mill Creek, had 400 girls try out for the 20-member team. Duluth High School had more than 70 interested.
“I immediately had enough for a Varsity, JV, and 9th grade team,” says Duluth head coach Brett Wilson.
He tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish he’d like to see the sport approved by the Georgia High School Association and sanctioned statewide.
All the girls on his team play at least one other sport including Senior Morgan Noil who hopes to get a basketball scholarship in college.
“I think it’s amazing because girls have always wanted to play football, but felt like they couldn’t because it’s a masculine sport,” she says.
Kimberlee Mankin, coach at Collins Hill High, believes it will have a lasting impact on the players.
“Anytime you can be a part of a team and be part of something, that’s beneficial the rest of your life,” she says.
Each Gwinnett team will play 14 regular season games with an end of year tournament. The first games begin next Tuesday.