This year’s girls varsity flag football team from Royal Palm Beach High School was perfect during the preseason and had a winning record in the regular season. In the post season, the Wildcats defeated Forest Hill High School 13-0 in the first round of the district playoffs, but they ended their season with a loss to Seminole Ridge High School in the second round of the district playoffs.
Despite an earlier-than-planned end to the season, there were a number of individual and team achievements worth recognizing.
“Obviously, we did not meet our goal of getting out of our district [playoffs] to compete for the state title,” RPBHS head flag football coach Harold Camp said. “However, I was pleased with our team’s play throughout the season. I had the opportunity to play younger players throughout the season.”
Another positive was the play and on-the-field leadership displayed by receiver Jenna Springthorpe, who has been selected to participate in the Florida Athletic Coaches Association’s (FACA) 2021 Flag Football All-Star Game. This game will be played on Saturday, May 15 in Belleview, which is near Ocala in Marion County. She will be representing the South team in the game.
Statistically, Springthorpe had a sterling career, especially this past season, which was her senior year.
Offensively, she finished with 76 receptions for 1,019 yards and 17 touchdowns. Defensively, she had 28 flag pulls, 13 knockdowns, 10 interceptions and one interception returned for a touchdown.
Her best overall game this past regular season was during the team’s win against Glades Central High School, when she had six receptions for 120 yards and three touchdowns. Against the Raiders, she also had three flag pulls and three blocked pass attempts.
In her junior year, Springthorpe was injured for the start of the season, and then the season came to a halt last March due to COVID-19.
In her sophomore year, she had 43 receptions for 550 yards with four touchdowns on offense. Defensively, she had 15 flag pulls, six knockdowns and 10 interceptions.
“Jenna was our go-to receiver on offense,” Camp said. “She ran such precise routes and was so in tune with assistant coach Andrew Joseph that he could call Jenna‘s number and knew the matchup that Jenna could win.”
Throughout the season, RPBHS quarterback Karleigh Farrell always knew where to find Springthorpe on the football field.
“She was, obviously, Karleigh’s favorite receiver,” Camp said. “Other teams also were aware of Jenna’s big-play capabilities. Even with that, Jenna could still make the big play when needed.”
Springthorpe is more than a one-dimensional flag football player.
“On defense, I liked to move Jenna to the wide side of the field because she could cover so much area,” Camp said. “I also moved her over the top of our opponents’ premier receivers to try to take that away from them. She has an incredible knowledge of the game. Jenna and I can talk about what the opponents are running against our defense and what adjustments we might want to make.”
According to Camp, Springthorpe is one of the smartest players he has ever coached because she used her offensive prowess to help on defense.
“Jenna’s route-running skills helped her with route recognition from her opponents,” Camp said.
One of Springthorpe’s strongest attributes is her positive mental attitude.
“Jenna was a quiet leader,” Camp said. “She always led by example and was a great role model. We often used Jenna to assist with the younger players in developing their route running.”
While Springthorpe is good enough to play collegiate flag football, she appears more interested in focusing on her academic degree when she starts college this fall.
“Jenna had several offers [to play flag football] but has decided to attend the University of Central Florida and pursue a degree in health sciences,” Camp said.
Of course, if Springthorpe has another great statistical effort in the FACA All-Star Game in mid-May, she might want to reconsider her collegiate path.