Gridiron Football made history twice last weekend in Arizona with the first-ever coaches conference and showcase exclusively for girls flag football, and the first-ever youth football tournament for flag football and 7v7 football teams. They were joined by global sports figures, Vanita Krouch, U.S. Women's Flag Football National Team Quarterback, Lyndsey Fry, Olympic silver medalist, and Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals' starting Tight End.
"There's been a schism between flag football, 7v7 football and tackle football", shares Scott Dillon, CEO of Gridiron Football, "and barriers to entry for female athletes. To us, there's just football and it's for everyone. We focus on developing the whole athlete - male or female - and providing the infrastructure, resources and training to help them achieve their goals; whether that's playing flag in the Olympics with Vanita, joining Trey on the Cardinals' roster, or just having fun after school. This weekend's a perfect example of how we're advancing that vision."
More than 40 high school girls flag football coaches registered for Gridiron's first Grow Her Game conference featuring Vanita Krouch and Lyndsey Fry. Coming off their first season coaching an AIA (Arizona Interscholastic Association) sanctioned sport, Fry encouraged coaches to keep pushing forward: "Some embrace the moment to make history. Others just move on. It takes passionate people, time and being willing to put in the work. We can't do this alone. We need to inspire those around us to also get involved."
Following the conference, Gridiron hosted a training camp for 70 local elementary and middle school-aged girls where they received group and 1-on-1 coaching from high school coaches, Krouch and Arizona Cardinals' starting tight end, Trey McBride.
The program culminated with a showcase tournament for six of the state's best high school girls flag football teams playing under the lights in custom Gridiron uniforms. Summarizing the day, Krouch shared, "We're writing the pages of history today. One day, people are going to look back at us and what we've done here. It's been very meaningful."
On the fields nearby, another first was taking place: more than 1,000 youth co-ed and girls flag football and 7v7 football players competed in the first-ever combined tournament, marking the start of the 2024 Gridiron Tournament Series, G Series. Over two days, 356 games were played and 15 division champions were crowned. As a former flag football athlete himself, McBride shared this advice to the young athletes: "Follow your dreams. Never give up."
For more information, visit gridironfb.com.