By Nefretari Powell ’19 and Reem Hamaida ’19
After an unpromising season last year, the girls flag football team is ready to make a striking comeback.
Autum Adams-Edwards ’18 said, “I hope that we can make it far this year and build a lot of team chemistry. Going to the Championship is our main goal.”
With victory in only three games in the previous season, Mr. Jonathan Skelly, the coach of the flag football team, is taking serious steps guiding the team toward success.
He believes that the root issue last year stemmed from the lack of knowledge that the girls had of the sport. This time around, he’s focused on helping the girls capture the concept of football rather than just teaching them how to play. This will lead to a better overall understanding of the game, allowing the girls to perform at a higher level.
Most of the members feel that this is a good idea because an increase of collectivism within the team will result in better plays.
“The issue was that we were given too much freedom,” Adams-Edwards ’18 explained. “But Skelly has definitely changed the way things are and we are going to be a more disciplined team.”
Practice started recently, and the girls already see a difference in not only the way they are training, but also in the way they play. Mr. Skelly has taught new routes and drills while also switching positions in order to improve their skills in other areas.
Jordan Kennedy ’18 described how Mr. Skelly has shown improvement as far as his coaching skills and making sure that everyone understands the idea of the game. If there is a mistake made in a certain play, a “teachable moment” is applied in order to demonstrate the proper method.
Alongside Mr. Skelly, Mr. Michael Giordano has joined the team as an assistant. The duo work together well as they both share a passion for football and teaching the sport. Not only is Mr. Giordano a help to Mr. Skelly, but also to the girls who they’re coaching.
Kennedy ’18 said, “It’s different having another coach to help Skelly because it’s always just been him trying to manage 20 plus girls. Thanks to Coach Gio, we have way more girls, thus many different opportunities to learn if we make a mistake.”
The girls had their first scrimmage on March 15 at Marine Park against New Utrecht. They took the win with 28-6 points.
Tina Chen ’19 said, “We came into the game with a positive attitude supporting each other on the sideline and on the field. Although it was our first game, we played cohesively and as a unit. However, we need to familiarize ourselves with the plays in order to become better as a whole team.”
Other teammates agreed and are happy with the outcome of their first scrimmage.
“We put our all into the game and we did great,” Sara Elshaer ’19 said. “I’m proud of my girls.”
In order to reflect their performance, Mr. Skelly has taken the initiative to record all scrimmages and games so that girls can see their mistakes firsthand. He believes that these videos will serve as an eye opener to a new perspective of the game.
“I do this for the girls and boys because the videos can further explain what I teach,” Mr. Skelly said. “Hearing it is one thing, but seeing it is another.”