For the second consecutive year, the Seminole Ridge High School girls varsity flag football team has captured the state championship title.
Coming off an undefeated season, the Lady Hawks defeated Mandarin High School 27-6 in Kissimmee on Saturday, May 4 to take home the championship trophy.
“We are incredibly excited,” head coach Austin Bowe told the Town-Crier. “The girls worked really hard for this, and it’s nice to see them get the reward at the end of it all.”
The Lady Hawks went 19-0 this season, which includes 15 shutout games and 17 games that ended with the mercy rule. Seminole Ridge easily took down top teams like Dr. Phillips (Orlando) High School and Tarpon Springs High School.
The Lady Hawks allowed only three touchdowns and a total of 20 points to be scored against them all season, finishing 637-20 against all their opponents combined this year.
Bowe attributed this to teamwork.
“They really bought into it and played well together,” Bowe said of his team. “It wasn’t just about one player catching a touchdown pass; it was also about the other girls acting as decoys to trick the defenders. They really understood how important every player was, and there was as much congratulation for someone fooling a defender as for scoring a touchdown. We have a lot of talented players.”
This marks the third state championship title for the Lady Hawks in four seasons — the team also won the title in 2010.
“Our team really came together in 2010,” Bowe said. “This year, the girls were really serious about winning. They wanted to be the best team out there, and they succeeded.”
He noted that the school recruits many players through the Acreage Flag Football League, which starts girls playing from a young age.
“The league definitely helps,” he said. “Having the advantage of girls who have played before is a big help. Our team has been playing together for three years, and some of the girls played together before that.”
This creates a team with synergy, Bowe said.
“They really help each other out,” he said. “The defense works hard to give the offense a good field position, and the offense tries not to give the defense extra work by not turning over the ball. They [the offense] make sure the other team has to march all the way down the field every time.”
Bowe expressed pride in his team. “What they accomplished was truly amazing,” he said.
ABOVE: The Seminole Ridge High School flag football team, shown here celebrating after they won the state title for the second year in a road.