The Mountain Lion Messenger

The Student News Site of Sierra Vista High School

The Mountain Lion Messenger

The Mountain Lion Messenger

Girls Varsity Flag Football Corrects Sierra Vista History

Mackenzie Jenkins
The team celebrates after winning a close home game against Sunrise Mountain High School, with a score of 21-20.

The Sierra Vista High School girls’ varsity flag football team kicked off their 2023-2024 season in November, stepping off the field for the last time on February 14th, 2024. The team finished their regular season 10-4, 7-3 in their division, and performed with a 4-1 record in single-possession games. The girls secured the third seed in their conference after winning a close game against Legacy Longhorns, taking away the 21-20 win at The Den and moving their way up to the 4A state playoffs. Despite a hard-fought battle, the team unfortunately lost to Arbor View in the 2nd round of playoffs, with a final score of 19-32

The 2023-2024 school year marked head coach Troy Smidt and assistant coach Daniel Bagwell’s first time coaching flag football on a varsity level, and Bagwells’ first time coaching flag football ever. Both coaches reminisce on a standout moment during a victorious bus ride home from Chaparral High School, where both JV and Varsity teams secured their first wins of the season. The win marked a pivotal realization of their potential and strength within the team. Coach Bagwell shares, “The looks on the girls’ faces realizing that we had the talent and drive to correct the course of Vista Flag Football was amazing. The sudden realization this was in fact – real. Then we just kept winning, we kept improving and we never backed down. Seeing our teams hold their heads high and be proud to be a part of Vista Flag is a moment that will stay with me.”

Coach Bagwell claims the seniors on the team-Riley Watkins, Jacquelyn Smidt, Leinaala Cui Stanley, and Teisha Ah Mook Sang- were the backbone of the season, displaying leadership and commitment. Jocelyn Ayson (10) shares, “The season was so fun with all my teammates, I wish it never ended.” Mackenzie Jenkins (10) at Southwest Career and Technical Academy who plays for the team shares, “We were really able to come back and prove ourselves and represent our school this season. I really enjoyed playing with everyone on the team, and growing together to win some games and make it to playoffs.”

Coach Bagwell reflects, “ We finished this year with 11 total wins, a playoff win, a newfound respect for our program from our competitors, and a sense of pride.  Our girls gave up their winter break to practice, played in the worst of conditions, and never backed down from a fight. They showed the utmost respect in losses and were humble through every victory. Our program is a family.  Family takes care of family – that’s the core of our program.”

The success of our flag football team this year proved that our lady lions are more than capable of bringing home a banner next season. Bagwell concludes, “As a coach we try to be objective and realistic, but the success of this year only drives our imagination of taking another step forward. I think the expectation will remain the same for us- continue to build a program that grows the sport and win. Next year our eyes are set on a banner.” For those interested, intramurals are expected to begin in the fall of next school year.

Mackenzie Jenkins (10) puts her game face on, ready to run her route as a wide receiver. ( Aylin Peculan)
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