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Girls flag football catching on at Martensville High

Martensville High School girls play a scrimmage during a flag football practice at Wilson Field on Monday, May 14

With three teams in the Saskatoon Rush Flag Football League, Martensville High School (MHS) is becoming a force to be reckoned with this season.
“We have about 26 girls from Grades 9 through 12 signed up this year,” said Martensville High School football coach Lyle Evanisky. “This is our second season in the league, and it’s been a great experience for everyone.”
Evanisky said the non-contact flag football league is an ideal program to get girls involved in the sport.
“We had some pretty good success last year, although the challenge was that most of our girls were new to the sport and just learning the basics. They were playing against girls who’ve been playing for several years.
“Now, though, they have a year of competitive experience under their belts, and they’re doing pretty good.”
Evanisky said the girls that have signed up for the sport are committed and eager to do their best.
“They’re the ones who are willing to take a risk and put themselves in a spot that’s a little outside their comfort zone” he said. “So the ones we have are excellent; they want to learn, they want to work hard, and they want to show up for extra practices.”
In addition to Evanisky, the coaching staff includes five teachers from the high school, and some players from the MHS Royals tackle football team.
“I have six players from the Royals, two that work with each team, that help run drills and work with the girls to develop skills like catching and throwing,” he said. “It’s great to see the boys giving back to the program.”
Flag football is a faster game than tackle football, said Evanisky, and while the game is similar in most respects, there are also some big differences.
“It’s five-on-five, and obviously there is no contact,” he said. “You only have three downs to get to half, and then another three downs to score.”
The school has three teams in the Rush senior division, with between 8 and 10 girls on each. Games are held weekly on Tuesday evenings in Saskatoon at Saskatoon Minor Football Field and Forest Park. The season runs from April 30 to June 11. The full schedule is online at www.saskatoonminorfootball.com.

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