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The North Star Online

The official news site of J.W. North High School

The North Star Online

The official news site of J.W. North High School

The North Star Online

North’s First Ever Flag Football Team

After years of not having the equivalent of football for women, John W. North’s first inaugural girl’s flag football team was established this year in 2023. Although the sport won’t be CIF-sanctioned till the 2024 school year, the girls will still be able to compete for a league championship this year. 

For their first-ever girl’s flag football team, Principal Gonzales aimed to recruit the best of the best to coach these girls. Coach Kiyoshi Harris was chosen to be the head coach of John W. North’s flag football team. Having formerly been the head coach of football at Independence Community College and the coordinator of recruiting at Division I Boise State, Harris wracked up an impressive resume. 

Coach Dennis Brown and Coach Katherine Rumfola were chosen to be assistant coaches who are exceeding expectations at coaching this new California sport. Coach Brown has over thirty years of coaching experience and Coach Rumfola coaches Division 2 girl’s soccer at the collegiate level.

Of course, with a new sport comes new challenges for both the players and coaches. When asked what the biggest difference between coaching men and women is, Coach Harris explains, “I think the biggest difference is probably the girls, from my experience, seem to care a little more. They want to perfect their play a little bit more than the guys. That’s not to take anything away from the guys, but the girls really want to be good at their play. So whatever it takes to be better than what they were the day before.” 

The first time in North history a girl’s flag football team kicked off in the Husky stadium was a scrimmage held on August 24th at 6:30 pm, with two back-to-back games on the same night. 

It’s common for teams to face adversity against good teams, but that didn’t make it sting any less when the Huskies lost the first game 0-39. With just a ten-minute break in between games, the players had a limited time to rally themselves up for the next game. 

The game was tied up 6-6 in the last half, with less than two minutes on the clock with the Rams on offense. At the fifteen-yard line, Amillian Hamilton intercepted the ball and ran it into the endzone, making the score 12-6. Time ran out shortly after with touchdowns scored by #21 Amillian (Millie) Hamilton and #14 Clarisse Guerra. 

Millie is one of the co-captains of the team, and when asked how she felt during game one versus game two, she explains, “Well game one was our first game ever, so that was the jitters that everyone had. Everyone was trying to figure out what to do, how to do it, [and] when to do it. Game two was just us fixing it and getting it together.”

North successfully got their jitters out, and the next week won a scrimmage against Arlington 26-6, with touchdowns scored by #1 Mia’Lani Mayo, #6 Alonna Vaipulu, and two scored by #9 Sophia Gonzales. 

The team’s first-ever league game is on September 12th at home against Canyon Springs, and their eyes are set on a league championship for their first year in the sport.

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Sophia Gonzalez, Sports Editor
Andrew Ross, Photographer

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