The Tacoma Girls NFL Flag Football Club kicked off their inaugural season on May, 8, 2021. COURTESY PHOTO, Seattle Seahawks

The Tacoma Girls NFL Flag Football Club kicked off their inaugural season on May, 8, 2021. COURTESY PHOTO, Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks partner with Kent schools to launch girls flag football teams

Kent-Meridian, Kentridge, Kentwood and Kentlake to offer teams

The Seattle Seahawks are partnering with Kent and five other school districts in Washington to start up girls flag football club teams.

Kent-Meridian, Kentridge, Kentwood and Kentlake high schools will be part of the program, according to seahawks.com.

The other districts and schools are:

• Federal Way Public Schools - Decatur, Federal Way, Thomas Jefferson and Todd Beamer

• Highline Public Schools - Tyee, Highline, Mount Rainier and Evergreen

• Mercer Island School District - Mercer Island High School

• North River School District - North River High School

• Oakville School District - Oakville High School

The $57,000 in grants to cover the 15 schools will come from a 2022 Seahawks commitment of $250,000 over the next five years to “support the creation of high school girls flag football programs across the state,” according to a press release.

The teams are expected to begin during the 2023-2024 school year.

“We are excited to launch high school girls flag football this coming fall and are grateful to the Seattle Seahawks for providing the support necessary to launch this program well,” said Federal Public Schools Superintendent Dani Pfeiffer. “Athletics are an important part of the educational experience, teaching sportsmanship, teamwork, respect, and helping scholars feel connected at school. This is a wonderful opportunity to grow and increase our athletics offerings for scholars. I can’t wait to see them play their first game.”

The latest grants are part of the Seahawks’ 2022 commitment of $250,000 in funding over the next five years that will support the creation of high school girls flag football programs across the state. Together with the WIAA and Nike, the Seahawks previously supported the launch of girls flag club leagues within Tacoma Public Schools and Seattle Public Schools. As a result of these efforts, 33 schools in the state will offer girls flag club teams in 2023.

The schools will receive an equipment kit from USA football and two uniforms, home and away, courtesy of Nike.

“We are so proud to support the continued growth of girls flag football programs across our state, with a long-term goal of having girls flag adopted as an official sanctioned sport in the state of Washington,” said Paul Johns, Seahawks director of Youth & High School Football Programs. “Providing equitable opportunities for youth in our region to play sports is so important, and we are excited to see the interest and adoption of girls flag football continue to grow year after year.”

Since 2016, the NFL, its 32 clubs and football partners have focused on driving increased opportunities for high school girls to play flag football across the country. Through these collaborative efforts, over 230,000 female participants between the ages of 6 to 17 played flag football in 2022.

At the high school level, 24 NFL teams have started or are committed to executing pilot programs in collaboration with their state athletic association, while eight states (AL, AK, AZ, CA, FL, GA, NY and NV) have officially sanctioned girls flag as a varsity sport, according to the press release. For the first time in history, the NAIA and NJCAA partnered with the NFL to introduce women’s flag football as a collegiate sport for their member institutions.

The Seahawks also currently partner with NFL FLAG on the Seattle Seahawks Flag Football League, offering coed teams for boys and girls from pre-K through 8th grade. The league is designed for young athletes of all levels to learn the fundamentals of football in a fun and team-oriented environment.

Washington state high schools interested in launching girls flag programs can fill out an interest form at seahawks.com to connect with the Seahawks about future grant opportunities.


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