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Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Girls’ flag football touches down for winter season

%28From+left+to+right%29+Head+coaches+Christian+Hanna%2C+Steve+Hannan%2C+Jason+Metcalf-Lindenburger+and+David+Wood+pose+with+Athletic+Director+Kealey+Stanich+%28middle%29+after+the+first+girls%E2%80%99+flag+football+information+meeting+on+Nov.+9.+
Tatev Yeghiazaryan (she/her)
(From left to right) Head coaches Christian Hanna, Steve Hannan, Jason Metcalf-Lindenburger and David Wood pose with Athletic Director Kealey Stanich (middle) after the first girls’ flag football information meeting on Nov. 9.

This year, Inglemoor introduced a new winter sport: girls flag football. Flag football has been on the rise since the announcement that it will be a sport at the 2028 Summer Olympics. Athletic Director Kealey Stanich (she/her) founded the team and said its introduction was extremely well received by students. 

In January, girls flag football will start with an intramural season — essentially a trial run to gauge interest from potential players and supporters. The season will run from Jan. 2 to Feb. 10, with three practices a week and a game every Saturday.

“This year, just seeing the interest, and then if that’s something that we think ‘Hey, yeah, we really loved this,’ that helps me bring it back to the league and say ‘Come on KingCo. Let’s get this moving,’” Stanich said.

In early October, Stanich sent out a schoolwide survey to determine how many potential players the team would have this year. Although Stanich said she expected around 20 students to be interested, more than double showed interest in joining the team. Even though student interest from the survey is high, only about 5% of students responded to the survey, so a final player count is unknown. 

“Only 80 answered — there’s obviously a ton more — but 40 of them said yes. And we got 18 maybes. Which was really great because we need to grow that interest,” Stanich said. 

 Mount Si High School already started their first season of flag football last year. Inglemoor’s introduction of flag football was inspired by the Seattle Metro Athletic League’s establishment of the sport in the winter of 2022. Other schools in KingCo are also creating teams this year. 

“As KingCo league, we realized that other leagues were doing it, and we saw how successful it was for them. And we don’t have a girls sport in the winter time that’s a non-cut or you don’t need a lot of experience to play,” Stanich said. 

Stanich said that because the sport is non-cut, it has a major appeal factor. She referenced other girls’ winter sports that require years of experience to play, such as gymnastics and basketball. 

“You’re not gonna get hit or anything in flag football. They’re not going to tackle you. Do you know how to run? Great. Do you know how to catch a ball? Great. And then you can go from there. And what’s great is that this is a learning type of sport,” Stanich said.

NSD received a $16,000 grant from the Seattle Seahawks to finance the team, which Stanich applied for last spring. The money will be used to fund all four of Northshore’s high school teams, with each school receiving $4,000. Stanich said she hopes the investment will have a positive impact on Inglemoor’s athletic culture. 

“I want the interest levels to grow in athletics. And when we bring something new that’s not your average basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, anything like that—it’s something new and it’s something intriguing,” Stanich said. 

Junior Yemi Oledosu (she/her) said her interest in joining the team stems from her friends’ idea to play, adding that she’s always been interested in trying out the sport. 

“I think it’ll make the community more diverse and open ­— to have another space that girls are able to express themselves. And I think it could build more community within the school,” Oledosu said. 

Stanich expressed her enthusiasm for the team’s future coaches, Jason Metcalf-Lindenburger, Steven Hannan, Christian Hanna and David Wood, who all teach at Inglemoor. She hopes that having teachers as coaches will create a more comfortable team environment. Stanich also hopes to have female coaches join the program. 

“I’ve looked at maybe getting some help from females who played girls flag football in the area, which is totally optional. But it’s kind of nice having your teachers be there and obviously be a part of it in some way,” Stanich said. 

Stanich said the ultimate goal is to have games at Pop Keeney, since no other sports use it in the winter. Games during the intramural season will be played at school fields until there’s enough support to move to Pop Keeney. Stanich said she isn’t expecting major crowds, but support from friends and family will be much appreciated. 

“I think if we can get the parents out there, we can get some teachers, and a good group of kids, then it will grow from there. Because it’s an intramural season, things are gonna be a little different, it’s not gonna be anything big.”

Stanich said she’s looking forward to the upcoming season and the direction the team will take. She encourages students to give flag football a chance, as she believes it’ll be a great experience for anyone who does. 

“Just do it. Try something new, right? I mean, it’s so much fun. Just try something new. Ignore that it’s going to be cold out there and go have some fun against these other high schools in our district. I just think it’s a really great thing to grow here.”

 

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About the Contributors
Emelia Mason (she/her)
Emelia Mason (she/her), Sports Editor
Junior Emelia Mason is starting her third year on the Nordic News staff as the sports editor for the 2023-2024 school year. She looks forward to furthering her reporting skills by writing engaging articles that are enjoyed by the community. Outside of Nordic she’s involved in numerous school organizations and enjoys music, reading and hanging out with her friends.   
Tatev Yeghiazaryan (she/her)
Junior Tatev Yeghiazaryan is a Nordic News reporter for the 2023-2024 school year. She hopes to immerse herself in writing, design, and photography as she dives into her first year of journalism. She plans to learn new things, explore, and have fun with her fellow Nordic staff. In her free time, she enjoys sports such as skiing, rock climbing,and playing soccer, as well as hanging out with her friends, and annoying her pet cat. 

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