BHS launches flag football program | New

The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) created a new athletic opportunity for women last year, and she arrived at Baldwin High School in 2021.

Baldwin’s flag football program is now ready to take off. The sport joins softball, cross country, competitive cheerleading, and volleyball as fall athletics offerings for women.

The GHSA has divided the participating flag football teams into three divisions based on the number of entries, and the Bravettes will compete at the A-4A class level. They will play a six-game regular-season schedule followed by the state playoffs, which begin in late November. The Grill Bravettes play their first game at 6 p.m. Tuesday at home against Loganville High School.

Baldwin’s newest track and field program is under the direction of K-2 Midway Hills Primary Head Coach Tara Burney. A former Bravette in several sports herself, she said she would have even appreciated the opportunity to play traditional football when she was in high school.

“I’ve always wanted to play football,” Burney said in practice Tuesday. “In the 90s, they didn’t allow us to play, so I had to be a manager. I played all sports, but I couldn’t play football because there wasn’t any for women.

Now she’s missing out on the best thing as she and her assistant Josh Fields coach Baldwin’s 17-player flag football team. Among them is senior Camelia Darrisaw. She’s a track athlete in the spring, but as a member of the BHS directory staff, part of her fall is spent photographing the boys’ football team on Friday nights. Now it will be someone else’s turn to photograph her and her teammates in action.

“I am very excited,” Darrisaw said. “This is an opportunity that I have been looking for since my first year. Being on the sidelines watching the boys play made me want to play. Now I can do it.

The head coach is just as enthusiastic as the players, not just to compete, but to show girls all the life lessons that sport can teach.

“I was an athlete, so being able to give back and show the girls that if you focus on your grades first and stick with the sport, it will pay off in the long run,” Burney said. “Sport has helped me develop my leadership skills. If it hadn’t been for sports here at Baldwin High School, I wouldn’t be a principal today.

Burney and his players have a certain learning curve to overcome in familiarizing themselves with the alternative form of football. Flag football is played 7 v 7 on an 80×40 meter pitch, and there is obviously no tackle as the flags are drawn to stop games instead. The Bravettes will play home games on the new grass field inside Braves Stadium, so the flag football goal line will actually be the 10-yard line. The end zone is 10 meters long, so the back of the flag end zone will be the traditional football goal line.

While Burney is excited about her current roster, she won’t really be able to capture any of Baldwin’s talented basketball players, as flag season runs until the hoops play begins. The GHSA arranged the season to end at the same time as tackle football. The Flag State Championships are actually held at Georgia State University’s Center Parc Stadium (formerly Turner Field) the same week as the traditional State Football Championships. Although she probably lacks some good athletes due to the season’s schedule, Baldwin’s flag football head coach is not shy about playing the season as it is.

“I love running with the guys football season because I want people to know it’s not a powder game,” she said. “This is the real deal.

“We are excited and hope everyone will come and support the girls. It’s gonna be a great time.

Baldwin’s flag football season kicks off Tuesday at 6 p.m. at home against Loganville.

About Georgia Duvall

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