Flag football kicks off inaugural season


David Camick

The flag football team gets together for a picture after a practice in October. They host their first home game in St. Pius X history on Thursday, October 27 at 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm.

Elliott Seng, Staff Writer

Coach Andy Harlin is well-known in the high school baseball world. Throughout his more than 30 years of coaching, he’s earned a long list of awards and accolades, including dozens of coach of the year awards, three state championships, over 600 wins, and a 2019 inductee into the Georgia Dugout Hall of Fame. He can now add one more accomplishment to his name: head coach of the first flag football team in St. Pius X history.

“I told [them] I’d love to do it,” Harlin said when he was asked last year to help start the program. “It’s new grounds for all of us, you know, a new horizon or whatever you want to call it, so it’s been fun every single day so far.” 

And if this first season is any indication, it’s looking like there’s a bright future ahead for the Golden Lions’ newest sport. Over 60 girls tried out for the team this fall, with 25 making the final roster.

“I think it’s gonna end up catching on like wildfire, I really do. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun to watch the games,” Coach Harlin said. 

Fans can expect a game similar to football but with a few changes. For example, there’s no contact allowed except pulling the flags around each player’s belt, the field is 80 yards instead of 100, and there’s a running clock throughout the two 20-minute halves. 

The girls kicked off their season October 11 against Dunwoody and Berkmar, and they have a perfect 5-0 record so far.

“We’re doing pretty good so far,” senior corner Ava Laurent said. She said the team’s secret weapon is senior quarterback Charlotte Llop and their talented wide receivers, and she encourages fans to come out and support the team. They have their first and only home games this evening against Tucker and Miller Grove at 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm. The theme is Halloween.

“It’s really fun to watch,” Laurent said. “Everyone should come and support.” 

“Yeah, come support the women!” senior safety Ava Swanegan added. 

The team next plays Lakeside and North Atlanta on Thursday, November 10, and they’ll close out their season on Saturday, November 12.

Coach Harlin said that fans won’t be disappointed.

“Once [the students] see the girls, who are very talented, it’s going to catch on and be another way to bring the school community together,” he said. “No matter what, we got a really good bunch. And we’ll compete, that’s for sure.”