Seminole Ridge Flag Football Squad Is Off To A Strong Start

The Seminole Ridge flag football team flanked by assistant coach Ron Taylor (left) and head coach Scott O’Hara (right). Photo by Carrie Chieffalo

At Seminole Ridge High School, the trophy case for the girls flag football team is filled with many postseason awards, five of which are state championship trophies. This year’s team, under the direction of head coach Scott O’Hara, is focused on adding more hardware to the case — perhaps even adding a sixth state championship banner to the rafters of the school’s gymnasium.

At Seminole Ridge, the expectations of the girls varsity flag football team are quite high, since the school has won state titles in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, and has been the state runner-up on three other occasions (2014, 2017 and 2018). Last year’s team reached the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 2A final four.

This year’s team is off to another solid start. After five games, the Hawks are 4-1. Two of those wins were against teams which have strong flag football programs, Plant High School from Tampa and Newsome High School from Lithia.

During Seminole Ridge’s first four games, the offense sizzled, and the defense was strong. The offense scored a total of 100 points, and the defense didn’t allow any.

The team’s only defeat was a 20-7 loss to Park Vista High School on March 2. After Seminole Ridge took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Park Vista responded with a second-quarter touchdown to tie the game, 7-7, at the half. Park Vista then rallied with a 13-point fourth quarter to win the game.

For Seminole Ridge to have a strong regular season and a deep postseason run, it will require contributions from every player on the roster.

“We really have 15 key players this season because for us to be successful, each player will have to do her unique part,” O’Hara said. “It starts with our team chemistry, to the daily commitment it will take from each person, to the competitive level our players will have to get to. It will really take the entire unit to play as one.”

O’Hara is expecting strong leadership from his three seniors.

“It all starts with our terrific seniors — Angelina Sanchez, Gisella Negron and Alexa Baez — and the example and standard they set for the team,” O’Hara said.

The Seminole Ridge varsity roster has players at every grade level.

“It also includes our amazing juniors Dakota Parks, Sydney Pena, Lola Agosto and Lily Von-Purkyne,” O’Hara said. “Follow that up with incredible sophomores like Carrie Didio, Victoria Ayllon and Jazlyn Ruiz, and incoming talented freshmen like Ja’Niah Tejeda, Emily Clay, Chachi Saunders, Aubrey Fogel and Olivia Agosto. We really have the potential to be a very dynamic team.”

Of those 15 players, just more than half played for Seminole Ridge last year. “We have eight returning players from last year’s squad,” O’Hara said.

In flag football, all successful teams have talented quarterbacks, and Seminole Ridge is no exception.

“We are very fortunate to have two gifted quarterbacks — Dakota Parks and Aubrey Fogel — who can both run and throw, and know the game very well,” O’Hara said.

The next big tests for Seminole Ridge will be three home games in two days when the Hawks host Lennard High School on Friday, March 8, followed by games against Lakewood Ranch High School and Pembroke Pines Charter School on Saturday, March 9.

While O’Hara is the head coach, he’s quick to point out the important role of his assistants.

“Our team would not be competitive or complete without our outstanding coaches Ron Taylor and Chris Truszkowski, and, of course, our magnificent team mom Carrie Chieffalo,” he said.