2024-07-12 1:22 PM

Local Girls Flag Football Team Wins National Title

The Virginia Hurricanes, a youth sports organization based out of Arlington, Virginia, earned some major attention this past week when its 10-and-under girls’ flag football team won the national championship during the NFL Pro Bowl festivities in Las Vegas. The Hurricanes were represented by the NFL’s New York Jets after winning the New Jersey regional title last June, and were treated to a meet-and-greet with several members of the team during their stay in Vegas. 

It’s the fifth total national title for the Hurricanes among all age groups, and the second consecutive for the 10-and-under club – however, most of the girls on this year’s team weren’t on last year’s, making the feat even more impressive. The Hurricanes actually sent two squads to Las Vegas, and in a twist of events had to play against each other during the second round of the tournament, following a first round bye for the eventual champions.

The Hurricanes then defeated units from Tampa Bay and New England en route to winning the tournament Finals by a final score of 20-13. They trailed on two separate occasions during the championship game, but fought back and emerged victorious as the top seeded team in the bracket. 

“They showed great resilience,” head coach Mike Rivera stated via a phone interview on Monday. “They didn’t give up or panic when they were down, they made very few mistakes.”

Flag football is one of the fastest-growing youth sports in America, particularly for girls, as Rivera made note of, claiming that the scene has “exploded” over the past few years. However, unlike many of their opponents whose focus is flag football and only flag football, these girls consider their latest accomplishment just the icing on the cake. Many of them also play sports such as soccer and basketball at a highly competitive level, with several having already built chemistry with each other from playing together on different teams. 

“It was a wonderful opportunity for them to play at the highest level,” said Chris Pryor, a Falls Church resident whose daughter Emma was part of the championship squad. “But they’re accustomed to winning.”

“The commitment these girls have, they just find time to make it all work,” Rivera added. “Just a great group of kids.”

Safe to say, the greater D.C. area is ripe with young athletic talent. Right down the street, Falls Church’s own Meridian High School has sent its girls’ basketball squad to the State Finals in consecutive years, and looks to once again be one of the top programs in the district this season. The Hurricanes’ success is just another example of our region’s bright future, and above all else, the experience for the young girls was one they’re sure to never forget.

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