Cedar Hill High School Expands Football Tradition with New Girls’ Flag Football League

girl holding football
Photo credit CHISD

Cedar Hill High School Football has a long tradition.

And now, girls are joining in the fun.

Cedar Hill has joined the growing number of high schools in Texas that now offer flag football for girls. The intramural league started in April and concluded at the end of the school year.

The idea came from Cedar Hill High School history teacher Timothy Rising, who moved here from Jacksonville, Florida. The school also has a fledgling girls’ flag football program.

More than 70 players participated in the program this year for Cedar Hill in grades 9-12. The games were 7-on-7 on 50-yard fields, and each team had approximately 15 girls.

“Generally, our girls play with a junior size ball,” Rising said, noting that the seven players on offense consist of center, a quarterback and five eligible receivers.

The offense has 13 seconds to set up and run a play, and  teams have seven seconds to throw a pass once the snap is made. Any player who rushes the quarterback must be a minimum of five yards behind the line of scrimmage at the snap. The player must also wait four seconds before rushing the quarterback.

“These are just a few of the rules that we use that differ our version of flag football from traditional 11 versus 11 full-contact football,” Rising said.

Rising said he’d like to see girls’ flag football become a University Interscholastic League-sanctioned sport. Rising noted that, so far, in the United States, ten states have girls’ flag football as a high school-sanctioned sport. They are Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Nevada, Alaska, New York, Arizona, Illinois, California, and, as of April, Colorado.

“Montana is preparing to join as well. We feel that with the growing interest in both women’s sports and flag football, Texas should undoubtedly be the next state to add this sport to scholastic athletic activities and UIL competition,” Rising said.

Rising praised Fort Worth’s school district for its work with girls’ flag football, adding that others are likely on the horizon.

“We know Fort Worth is doing an excellent job, and we have received word from Austin and Arlington that they would like to follow in our footsteps,” he said. “We are also aware that Duncanville has experimented with a junior versus senior girls flag game as well.”

The players at Cedar Hill are lauding the sport.

girls playing flag football
Photo credit CHISD

“This season has been fun and a new experience. I was able to meet a lot of new people, learn a lot.,” Emoni Kitchen said. “Prior to playing,  I knew I had speed, but  I didn’t know that I could catch. However, since I’ve been playing, my confidence has definitely grown.”

Aniyah Barnes said playing the sport was a great way to bid farewell to her high school days.

“I love playing. As a senior, I see my teammates as my sisters, and I know I’m going to miss them. Football has given us a voice,” she said. “We hold each other accountable, and being on the field forces us to communicate.

“When one of us makes a play we’re there to celebrate, when one of us misses a play we’re there to pick her up. EmpowHer is for all of us. We really want every girl in Texas to feel this feeling.”

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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters

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