Mainland girls’ flag football team off to a good start

Filed under SPORTS

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

Mainland High School is a state powerhouse in boys tackle football. The girls flag football team isn’t too shabby either.

Left: Mainland senior quarterback Tahara Williams looks to throw a pass during a recent game.
Right: Jasmine Hadley plays receiver on offense and defensive back on defense.

The Buccaneers (7-0) were undefeated and ranked seventh in Class 1A in the state heading into their April 12 contest against New Smyrna Beach, which was after the Daytona Times’ deadline.

“We’re a really good team. We have a lot of camaraderie,” said Head coach Scott Wilson.

Wilson also is the head coach of the boys tackle team, which has won the district and made the playoffs throughout his entire tenure.

Reason for success
Wilson also has led the girls program for all 13 seasons, leading the program to five district titles and five playoff appearances.

Mainland Coach Scott Wilson gives instruction on the sidelines.
(PHOTOS COURTESY OF KATHY KELLER/THE FRAME & PHOTO WORKS)

He said, “I think our success comes from our relationships from the coaches on staff. Our basketball and track coaches all coach on the boys football team with me. We all utilized the same kind of thought process. Also, our girls all come from basketball, soccer and track, over to football.”

Wilson believes the boys tradition carries over to the girls program.

“A lot of the girls on the team are team trainers and managers for the boys football tackle team.

They love the sport just as much as the guys. The tradition carries over,” expressed Wilson.

Growing sport
Wilson has seen the sport of girls flag football grow and progress.

“It’s grown immensely. Our very first team didn’t even get a first down the entire season. Then we got things together and started making the playoffs. There are more girls playing and more schools getting teams,” Wilson remarked.

Top players
The Buccaneers feature senior quarterback Tahara Williams (30 TDs).

Senior Jasmine Hadley is a four-year starter; she plays receiver on offense and defensive back on defense. She leads the team in interceptions each season.

Mainland also has three four-year senior starters on defense in rusher Raven Robinson, linebacker Taren Coyler and Auden Sweeny.

Wilson sees a lot of fight in the girls.

“They are tougher than what people think. They work very hard and you can’t give them enough credit. They have that dedication and great work ethic. The way the tradition works goes from freshman year to senior year. The freshmen see the seniors’ work ethic and they carry the torch when the seniors graduate. If, we do get too relaxed they won’t let us,” Wilson explained.

District, then state
The Buccaneers last won the district and made the playoffs in 2014.

Archrival Seabreeze, whom the Bucs already have beaten this season, has won the district and made the playoffs the past two seasons. Only district champions make it to the state playoffs.

Mainland is ready to reclaim the district title and go win a state championship.

Wilson said, “To win a state title it will take a lot of hard work and dedication by everyone on the team. We still play some good teams on our schedule like Tallahassee Godby, who is also ranked.

“Also, we first have to win the district tournament. We were undefeated last year, but had some girls got injured. We didn’t win the district tournament and missed the playoffs. Anything can happen,’’ he added.

The Buccaneers have four remaining games left on their schedule, including the April 12 match with New Smyrna Beach. The district tournament starts May 2.

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