Flag Football a Game Changer for Montana High School Girls
Girls flag football started as a pilot project in Montana High Schools. Three high schools initially took the ball and ran with it in 2022--- Flathead, Glacier, and Butte. Then, in 2023, Lockwood and Mission fielded teams. The results have apparently been lifechanging for many of these young ladies.
Lisa Koehler is the head coach for the Flathead High School girls flag football team in Kalispell. She says both Flathead and Glacier High Schools have doubled the number of girls that have turned out to play flag football, and most of these girls weren't playing other sports. (Flathead now has over 60 girls playing football) She's encouraging other Montana High Schools to start offering flag football as a sport for their girls.
Lisa Koehler: Ultimately we would love for all Montana girls to have the opportunity to play High school flag football. All the schools that have taken the chance and committed have shared so many powerful impactful stories of change in their communities, in relationships, the overall confidence and wellbeing of these girls. Stories of literally changing girls lives.
Here's the other deal: the sport is being FULLY FUNDED thanks to the Atlanta Falcons and the Arthur Blank Foundation. (Arthur Blank is the co-founder of Home Depot who owns the Atlanta Falcons and owns property south of Livingston, Montana)
Lisa Koehler: Atlanta has agreed to fully fund the sport for 3 years. They flew up former NFL players and coaches to put on a clinic for all of us at U of M...All 3 schools got on a bus to Seattle, we went to a UW game, attended Atlanta's walk thru practice, and the girls were able to meet the players including, of course, Troy Anderson. We scrimmaged each other at a Seattle high school and then attended the Falcon vs Seahawks game. The girls also got the opportunity to go to the Cat Griz game and be part of the ESPN College Game Day show.
By the way, Lisa Koehler and the Lockwood High School Activities Director Mike Erickson joined us on the radio Tuesday morning to talk more about the impact these programs are having. Click below for the full conversation.
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Gallery Credit: Peter Richman