PHOTOS: Grade 8 Students Lead Efforts to Start Intramural Girls Flag Football

St. Margaret’s Middle School was cleared to play intramural sports outside of their cohorts in late February, and two students in grade 8 had an idea.
Coco Johnson and Sarah Bendzick approached Middle School athletic director Lori Fava and asked if girls flag football could be set up for the first of three four-week intramural seasons. Though it wasn’t an initial offering, Mrs. Fava fully supported the idea but told them there would need to be either more girls signing up or the two would have to play as part of a coed block.
Coco and Sarah went to work. They started a group chat to recruit classmates, and eventually found 14 more girls interested in playing. A lively, joyful and competitive intramural girls flag football season was born, with Mrs. Fava and personal fitness and wellness teacher Mel Taylor serving as coaches.
Many of the girls play other sports, such as cross country, basketball and volleyball, but the chance to try another one, even for just a month of the compressed Middle School sports season, was irresistible.
“To many of them, they are going to high school next year and their focused sport will be intense and time consuming, and they wanted to try something fun for a few weeks,” Mrs. Fava said.
During their PFW block, the 16 girls split up into teams of eight and scrimmaged, complete with analytical play calls, pass-happy offensive game plans and exciting plays.
The first four-week season has finished, and the girls will go their separate ways for season two after Spring Break. But the student-led initiative was a big success.
“We were super excited how much they enjoyed playing,” Mrs. Fava said. “They signed up for this as a group, and they were so supportive of each other.  If someone made a good play, both teams congratulated each other. They played hard and had fun through the last minute of every block.”
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
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