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Buffalo Bills host HS Girls Flag Football Kickoff

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By: Rachel Auberger

Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Teams from Western New York to the Finger Lakes region participated in the annual event

On Saturday, the Buffalo Bills hosted the Girls High School Flag Football Kickoff at the ADPRO Sports Training Center in Orchard Park, New York. Several Bills players and coaches were on hand to participate, including Andy Isabella, Kendall Williamson, Tyrell Shavers, plus new defensive coordinator Bobby Babich.

“We have almost 60 teams coming out throughout the weekend,” said Preston Teague, Buffalo Bills Senior Director of Youth Football and Programs. “Seeing how rapidly it’s grown and the popularity at the high school level is something we’re really proud of.”

The Buffalo Bills organization has been instrumental in helping to develop girls flag football in Western New York. In April 2023, the Section VI Girls Flag Football Tournament was played at the ADPRO Training Center at One Bills Drive. Bills’ players Micah Hyde, Trent Sherfield, Siran Neal, and Kaiir Elam hung out and took in all of the action.

In June 2023, they hosted the first-ever Flag Football Regional Game. Players from Clarence High School and Canisteo-Greenwood High School faced off on the field at Highmark Stadium. But, before the girls took to the field, they were surprised with visits from Dawson Knox, Dion Dawkins, and Dalton Kincaid. The Bills gave the girls use of the locker rooms, complete with custom locker name plates for each of the high school players.

Flag Football was first introduced as a spring sport to high schools across New York two years ago, and, this year, for the first time, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association will officially recognize the sport with an official NYSPHSAA State Championship in June.

In celebration of the NYSPHSAA’s decision to officially recognize the sport of flag football, the Bills invited high school players from Cheektowaga High School and Lackawanna High School to their divisional round playoff game at Highmark Stadium back in January. The local high school flag football players were on the field as the Bills’ starting players ran out of the tunnel during introductions, and, more historically, they participated in a flag football scrimmage during halftime.

Teague said that he is proud of how far the sport has come in such a little amount of time, saying that introducing new sports can be difficult and take time to build momentum.

“I can’t be more proud of our coaches and players who stepped up to the plate and helped grow the sport and provided role models for generations of girls in the future that will be able to play,” he said.

You can check out photos from this weekend’s event by heading to the galley page at the official site of the Buffalo Bills.

Originally posted on Buffalo Rumblings