Credit: Atlanta Falcons
Falcons Host Girls High School Flag Football Showcase for College Coaches
The Atlanta Falcons are being praised for hosting one of the most successful High School Girls Flag Football Showcases in the country. The third-annual event, presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and was held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in May. Current Falcons players, Falcons legends and nearly 20 Georgia high school girls flag football coaches were in attendance to help facilitate the event.
Blessed Trinity Head Flag Football Coach Brandon Harwell, who helped run drills at the showcase, said the college coaches were beyond impressed with the talent on display.
“I talked with some of the coaches at the end, and during a couple of water breaks… they seemed to think that this was one of the most well-attended that they had been to around the country, just with the interest here in Georgia. They were really impressed with the quality of player that we have here and were excited, obviously being inside Mercedes-Benz.
You know, Friday was a beautiful day anyway, but we didn't have to worry about space or anything like that because there was so much room for them to move around, for instance, with the quarterbacks, they could see them throwing 30, 40 yards downfield,” said Harwell.
The showcase took place during the Women’s Flag Finals for NAIA and NJCAA schools. Following the event in 2022, 42 offers were granted to high school athletes to play at the next level. The number of offers given out following this year’s event is still being calculated.
One athlete that could walk away with an offer is Blessed Trinity quarterback Julia Geis. The junior led the Titans to a 17-2 season and the 2022 GHSA Division 3 State Championship. During the regular season, Geis completed 64% of her passes, throwing for over 2,700 yards and 46 touchdowns. She also caught the eyes of a few colleges at the showcase as well.
“At the end, all the coaches came up and introduced themselves and then they met with several of the kids and a few of the coaches said they wanted to follow up with her. She got several cards and then shared her information so they can call her also,” said Harwell.
Five previous participants who received offers from the showcase returned to Mercedes-Benz Stadium with their college teams this year, so we could see Geis back at The Benz as well. The future of flag football is limitless, according to coach Harwell, and could expand to larger divisions soon.
“I don't know that you can really put a limit on it. I think that the enthusiasm from the parents and from the athletes is palpable. I mean, everybody just loves this opportunity,” he said. “Do I think that it will get to the division-one level? I think so. I think that it's something that once it keeps rolling and everybody that watches it seems to really come away excited and wanting to see more of it.”
Blessed Trinity also has a bright season ahead after beating the Milton Eagles 19-13 in a double-overtime thriller in the state championship last year. Coach Harwell credits his team’s chemistry for the win.
“The one thing as a coach I want to do is, I just want to practice with them until the very last day that the Georgia High School Association says that we can practice. And then the day after, you're so excited, everything feels great, but there's also a little bit of a loss because you can't go to practice and be together as a team. And I think that's when you know that you have a special group, when you're able to do that,” said Harwell.
None of the Titans or girls flag football success around Georgia would be possible without the Atlanta Falcons. They have propelled the sport to all corners of the state and are now providing girls the opportunity to play in front of college coaches for free. The Falcons are not only helping to shape the future of the sport but also young girls’ lives.
GPB Sports will stream a high school girls flag football game of the week all season long during the upcoming 2023 season and will televise the state championships Dec. 12-14, along with boys tackle football. Follow us on social media @GPBSports for all the latest news and updates leading up to the 2023 football seasons and visit gpb.org/sports for more information on how to watch the games.