JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WTXL) — It may not have been the result FAMU DRS flag football was hoping to have in Saturday’s class 1A state championship. But a runner-up finish in the program’s first ever trip to a state title game is nothing to hang their heads about.
“It’s not the hardware we wanted to leave with. But I’m proud of these girls, we fought. You know we just didn't have what it took to beat Robinson, so great on Robinson," says head coach James Brown.
But the scoreboard at Mandarin High School doesn’t tell the story of what this group of girls were able to accomplish this season. And for most it started on the basketball court. Where that success carried over onto the gridiron.
“Definitely extremely proud of the young ladies. They hadn’t made it to states in the past. And they decided they’re going to come together and put forth the energy and effort," said the family of Baby Lady Rattler Zakari Nelson.
It’s been a high school sports season full of unexpected twists and turns brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. But inside the walls of FAMU DR-S no excuses were ever made. And now the school has not one but two new trophies they’ll be able to show-off as living proof that if you stay the course... hard work and dedication always pay off...
“What that says is that is that we don’t have the quantity but we have the quality. We’re a small school but we can compete with larger classifications," Brown added. "We do it in basketball and we do it in football. So that says a lot about the athletes that we have and the training we’ve been giving at the school.”
The end to their season may be a tough pill to swallow for the moment. But come next year this team will not forget about the unfinished business they need to take care of.
“Given the climate of Covid and everything I think our girls have done a great job. I really think we can build on this because we have a lot of young kids coming back, adds the Nelson family. "So I’m booking forward not only now but for the future of what we can do next year.
"You know you learn lessons from losing sometimes. So you got to come back a little harder and stronger. And maybe next year we’ll leave with the gold," says Brown.