By: Megan Roche
Calling all girls at Mount Olive High School. If you’ve ever wanted to get the feeling of what it means to play under the lights on the gridiron, now is your chance!
In March, Mount Olive High School will officially kick off the inaugural season of flag football for girls in ninth through twelfth grade. According to Colleen Suflay, MOHS Athletic Director, she is eager to get the program off the ground.
“Tryouts will begin the first week of March. It will be run as a club this year and then we hope the NJSIAA will adopt this as a Varsity Sport. There is a championship at the end of the season. We will have two coaches, and there is no cost to participate.”
The idea for starting a program came in December during a meeting with Mount Olive Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Zywicki. After discussing the possible program, both spoke with other schools in the state who offer the program at their respective schools. The school even received a grant from the NFL through a conversation with Eli Hodges, the Community Relations and Youth Football Manager.
“We added flag football as a club, it is not sanctioned by the NJSIAA, but hopefully, with enough momentum in the state of NJ, we can offer it as an official varsity sport. I have heard many conversations about the implementation of the flag football club and they were overwhelmingly positive,” Suflay shares.
As the program continues to grow, Suflay is hopeful that the schools and township can work together to establish a recreational program to provide young girls the skills needed to make the high school level team.
Suflay hopes the program will inspire the members of the team both on and off the field.
“We want to offer opportunities for the diverse interests and needs of our student body.
I believe that creating opportunities for students will provide another place/opportunity for girls to develop as thriving young adults who are confident, and courageous,” Suflay says.
While no official coach has been hired as of this writing, an announcement will be made as soon as a coach is put in place. Any girl interested in joining the team can stop by Suflay’s office at Mount Olive High School for more information.