THOMASVILLE, GA (WTXL) — The Thomas University Nighthawks flag football team has begun their inaugural season as a NAIA sanctioned sport. And now they want to take their new platform and create more exposure for the sport itself. And they shared with ABC 27 how they're getting ready to accomplish that.
“I think just starting a program from the ground up and bringing in kids that are high-character kids. says Thomas University head flag football coach Chelsea Parmer. "They work hard and you can mold them to how you need.”
It’s an exciting yet relatively uncertain time for Thomas University flag football. But they’re embarking on a journey as one of the early pioneers in women’s flag football at the collegiate level.
“Who would’ve thought this would become a collegiate sport," adds Nighthawks slot receiver Gisele Jones. "Flag football has been around for years and now it just started which is amazing.”
Now that flag football is gaining more and more popularity at both the NJCAA and NAIA level, there’s a very real possibility that we’ll see this sport expand into higher classifications. And for Chiles alum Sam Wilson, being able to participate in combines like the one Thomas University held this past weekend will only grow more opportunities for young girls to fall in love with the sport.
“I wish when I was in middle school I could’ve grown and improved to working towards something since we can actually get a scholarship now is great," Wilson told ABC 27.
“I’ve been waiting on this day since I was a player. I won’t tell you how long ago that was but I played at Leon High School and only dreamed of something like this." Parmer added. "And having the opportunity to play at the college level.”
“It’s really important because younger kids, six to 10 years old are watching us to this day playing this sport," Jones said. "And girls want to be just like us when they get older.”
The Nighthawks have already begun to get some practices in before their first official game rolls around in the Spring of 2022.