The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

Varsity, JV Flag football begin inaugural season

During practice Aug. 25, Emma Rabe reaches for Natalia Takeuchi’s flag in a drill focused on practicing offensive runs to get around a defender. Photo by Riley Rust.

Since the school’s opening in 2005, the powder puff game during Homecoming was the only opportunity for girls to play flag football. Now, with the Sac-Joaquin Section adding flag football to its roster of fall sports, that opportunity has expanded to five times a week. 

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) met in January of 2023, following the Sept. 29 meeting last year, and unanimously approved the addition of the sport for its inaugural season this fall. 

“It’s exciting, I’m excited to be a part of history. It’s an opportunity for girls that we didn’t have when I was in high school; it’s something I wish we would’ve had,” Coach Casey Brown said. 

Following the decision of the CIF, Athletic Director Nick French had multiple meetings in the section office with officials and other coaches in the area in order to bring flag football to the school. Once approved, French was able to start interviews for the head coach position. Discipline Tech Mr. Cameron Tarquin was described as the perfect fit. 

“We wanted [flag football] to be special, and we wanted to find a special person and I think we really did find a special person to do it. We got very lucky with Coach Tarquin,” French said. 

With a late acceptance for the sport in May, 68 schools in the Sac-Joaquin Section have had to get creative to get the word out for fans, players and parents. On top of that, flag football is very different from tackle, and getting people to understand that difference is a challenge. An additional challenge the team initially faced was finding times to practice as over half of the players participate in second sports. 

“Because a lot of girls do club soccer, club volleyball and this other stuff at the same time they feel like they don’t have time for another sport. So that you know, that’s really the toughest thing. But I’m so proud of the girls and coaches on how much they’ve already done. It’s really really cool to see,” French said.

As a brand new sport, flag football has provided an opportunity for 28 female athletes to explore new interests and athletic abilities on varsity and JV.

“It’s really fun because I get to learn a whole new sport which is completely different from the sport I play right now. I get to learn a whole bunch of new techniques and it’s a good conditioning sport, too,” Grace Berg said.

Being brand new doesn’t mean starting slow or having small goals. Coach Brown said the team hopes to continue the effort and ride the high they’ve been after they beat Inderkum 27-6  in their first game Aug. 23. 

French said, “It’s not every year that you get to be the first ones ever to start a sport on campus. I want them to be very proud of that. I also want them to be the ambassadors to grow the sport. The hope is that we grow it and make it a bigger program so we become one of the best girls flag football programs in the section.”


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