WHS Flag Football Team Looking To Repeat As District Champs

Head coach Robert Callovi addresses his team after the April 2 loss to Western. Photo by Mike May

The Wellington High School girls flag football team is motivated by the sweet and bittersweet experience of last season.

Last spring, Wellington won its first district tournament title when it defeated Seminole Ridge High School, but then seven days later, both teams met again in the first round of the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 2A state tournament, where Seminole Ridge turned the tables and won, 13-6.

Wellington has been motivated this season by last year’s season-ending loss to Seminole Ridge. While the Wolverines are looking to repeat as district champions this spring, the 16 players who have returned from last year’s squad are committed to a deeper postseason run.

Under the leadership of head coach Robert Callovi, Wellington has had a strong regular season. After 11 games, Wellington is 9-2. The only setbacks were a pair of home defeats — a 7-6 loss to Martin County High School on March 27 and a 28-0 loss to Davie’s Western High School on April 2.

With the exception of those losses, Wellington’s offense has been prolific this season, scoring an average of 34.1 points per game in each of its wins, while the defense has been stingy, allowing only 39 points for an average of 4.3 points per game in their nine victories.

For many flag football teams, success often revolves around the play of its quarterback. Fortunately, Wellington has a strong and talented signal-caller in senior Keelin Coleman, who is committed to continuing her flag football career next year at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.

“Keelin has all the tools that you would want in a quarterback. She is also incredibly hardworking and driven to be as successful as possible,” Callovi said.

After 11 games, Coleman has thrown for more than 2,100 yards and 35 touchdowns. She has also rushed for a pair of touchdowns.

It’s also vital to have an athletic group of receivers who can run crisp routes, catch the football and run with it.

“We are blessed to have a strong receiving corps made up of Avery Schroeder, Angelia Bistrong, Jordan Fernandez and Samantha Ellis, as well our center Emma Segfeldt and running back Kennady Seider, who both play big roles in our passing game,” Callovi said.

Fernandez has the most touchdown catches with 11, while Schroeder has 10.

While Wellington has a prolific offensive attack, its defense has been stifling, too.

“Our rusher, Sydney Lopez, is one of the best in the state,” Callovi said. “She is extremely fast, but she is also relentless in her pursuit. Linebacker Mia Brown has one of the biggest motors on the team and is all over the field.”

Lopez has recorded 17 sacks this season, so far.

While Wellington has many returning players from last year’s squad, the team has received a boost from a newcomer.

“One of our key backups is a freshman, Madison Rice,” Callovi said. “She has helped push the starters to stay at their best.”

While Callovi is delighted with his team’s strong start to the regular season, there is room for improvement.

“We are pleased with the start, but we continue to look for areas that we can improve and grow as the season continues,” he said. “In the game against Western, they took advantage of their scoring opportunities, and we didn’t. We should have had three scores in the first half of that game.”

Callovi knows that it will take a total team effort for his squad to make a deep postseason run.

“We are not settling for our current success, but continuing to find ways to be a better team, and we know our toughest test is always what is in front of us that day,” he said.

The Wolverines concluded their regular season on Thursday, April 4 with a home game against Cardinal Newman High School. They will then begin their postseason by competing in the district tournament, which starts Monday, April 8.

How Wellington fares in the district tournament will determine its seeding in the FHSAA’s Class 2A state tournament, which begins with the first of three regional playoff games and concludes in Tampa on May 10-11.

Seminole Ridge Wins on Senior Night — It was a victorious senior night on Tuesday, April 2 for the Seminole Ridge High School flag football team, which hosted western communities rival Palm Beach Central High School (6-8). The Hawks prevailed, 13-0.

“It was a pretty sloppy game by us with a lot of dropped balls and penalties, unfortunately,” Seminole Ridge head coach Scott O’Hara said.

In the win against Palm Beach Central, quarterback Aubrey Fogel completed 20 of 34 pass attempts and receiver Lola Agosto caught two touchdown passes. On defense, Gisella Negron, Dakota Parks and Sydney Pena had interceptions. Pena also had six flag pulls/tackles.

With the victory, Seminole Ridge improved its regular season record to 10-2.

Seminole Ridge concluded its regular season on Thursday, April 4 when the Hawks hosted Central High School from Miami.

As with Wellington, how Seminole Ridge fares in the same local district tournament during the week of April 8 will determine its seeding in the FHSAA’s Class 2A state tournament, leading to the state final four in Tampa on May 10-11. Last year’s team from Seminole Ridge reached the FHSAA’s Class 2A state tournament, falling in the semifinals.

Seminole Ridge quarterback Aubrey Fogel during the senior night game against Palm Beach Central High School. Photo by Richard Areyzaga Jr.