Growing roster provides flag football optimism in second season


Josie Robertson

The Homewood Girls Flag Football team

Josie Robertson, Photo Editor

The girls’ flag football team began practicing for its second-ever season in program history with nearly three times the number of Patriots on the roster from last year. 

As a whole, the popularity of girls’ flag football has sky-rocketed in Alabama since its inauguration last year. Homewood coach Rebecca Shields believes this is a great opportunity for the girls.

“Flag football isn’t a sport that a lot of these girls have played,” Shields said. “You have to work together no matter what your role is.” 

Chandler Binkley, a senior and second-year quarterback for the team, is motivated to crush this year’s season. Binkley cites her team’s unity as a cause for being optimistic about the season ahead. 

“We know each other better, and most of us are friends from last year,” Binkley said, describing the team as a “fun and a brand new opportunity.” She predicts an even better season this year for the team. 

Coach Shields aims to use her 20 years of coaching experience to help her team grow, on and off the field. She explains that this sport provides girls who come from different friend groups to come together and connect. With her leadership, Shields’ core values and goals this year include having integrity and positively representing Homewood. “Flag football isn’t a sport that a lot of these girls have played,” Shields said. She emphasizes how much these girls have grown despite not having a lot of practice growing up. However, by last year’s final game, “the girls were walking in with confidence,” Shields said. 

The state of Alabama has officially sanctioned girls’ flag football for high schools in Alabama. According to the Alabama High School Athletic Association, The National Football League, Atlanta Falcons, NFL Flag, and National Federation of State High School Association have created the official guide for the sport. They describe the initiatives as “providing females an outlet to engage in physical activity and opportunity.” 

The Patriots kick off their season at Oak Mountain on Sept. 6 at 5 p.m.