NEVADA, MO. — When you think of flag football, you probably think of youth leagues
Or even adult recreational leagues. But for Cottey College, it is now a scholarship sport and in its inaugural season, the team is ready to change the game.
Just two weeks away from their first official match, the Cottey flag football team
is hard at work tightening up their plays and strengthening their connections.
“It’s very intense,” said freshman quarterback Maisy Franklin. “We have to do everything. Weights every night, practice every morning, and some of us are running every single day. I mean it’s just go go go twenty-four seven.”
While they’re still working out the kinks, as most first year teams would, it’s an exciting time for these athletes. They get to be apart of the first ever flag football team at Cottey and one of 15 collegiate programs nation wide to receive a grant from the NFL to bring the sport to their campus.
“To me, it’s just really exciting,” said head coach Madeline Culbertson. “Especially to be able to work with the girls and give them that college experience, the college athletics experience and to be able to help them through the program.”
Football has always been a male-dominated sport, but that trend it starting to shift and more women and girls are taking to the grid iron to compete.
“My dad played football in high school and he told me that watching his daughter play football in college is crazy because he never thought he would see it and so here I am,” said freshman receiver Thalia Steele. “We’re just all making history. We’re all doing great things and empowering each other.”
In addition to winning games, the team wants to inspire and help forge a path for more females in the sport.
“I think you know, them being able to come out to our games and experience that, see how competitive it actually can be and that they can have another opportunity to play a different sport in college,” said Culbertson.
“Just thinking about how many young women we’re inspiring, young girls,” added Franklin. “I mean, I didn’t have this when I was growing up. I mean, I just think it’s fantastic.”
Regardless of how the season turns out, just establishing the program is a huge win and only a glimpse of what they can go on to accomplish going forward.