For the second consecutive year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation will host the largest girls flag football tournament, not only in Florida, but in the nation, with the Girls High School Flag Football Preseason Classic. Beginning Wednesday, a total of 57 teams will play a round-robin style tournament, utilizing all four practice fields at AdventHealth Training Center.
The event has more than doubled in size from last year and includes 25 teams from Hillsborough County alone. This year, it will include a "Friday Night Lights" matchup between 2019 Class 1A and 2A state champions Robinson High School and Alonso High School – two flag football powerhouses in the state of Florida. Girls flag football is one of the fastest growing sports in the state and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation is excited to help grow the game.
"To have the Buccaneers Foundation host the largest girls flag football tournament speaks to how much this sport has grown," said Executive Vice President of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation Brian Bell. "It also speaks to the amazing work we're doing as far as leveling the playing field for girls. We are providing an environment for all of them to come to a professional NFL team facility for what they know is a premier tournament."
Prior to the tournament start on Friday, participants will get to hear from Owner/President of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, Mayor Jane Castor and Women's Sports Foundation CEO Dr. Deborah Antoine. The primetime games that night will include both bands from both teams' schools, as well as food trucks on site serving dinner between games.
"I think it's really going to be a lot of fun," said Bell.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation is committed to fostering girls' passion for the game of football. In addition to the tournament, the Foundation has facilitated flag football curriculum across Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, including establishing the Jr. Bucs Girl's Flag Football League in order to help grow the game from a youth level. The league is certified by both NFL Flag, the country's leading flag football program, and powered by USA Football, the sport's national governing body.