There is a new sport headed to Auburn High as the Tigers have become the latest school to add girls flag football to its list of competitive sports.
In April, the Alabama High School Athletic Association announced that it would be adding the sport to provide high school girls with an opportunity to play the sport most of them have only been able to watch.
"When it was first announced, the girls were really fired up,” said head coach Alison Link. “I put out a Google document to just see if anyone had any interest and I have had close to 80 responses.”
Link, who was named head coach on June 14, is no stranger to either the Auburn area or coaching girls sports. She will be heading into year 13 as a teacher, seven of which have been spent as a coach of some capacity. Her first two seasons were as the head coach of the softball team at the middle school level before moving on to the same position at the junior varsity level for a lone season. For the past four years, she has been assistant coach for high school softball as well as an assistant for girls basketball over the past two years.
“I’m excited for an opportunity for these girls and it may give some of these athletes a chance to be a part of a team,” said Link.
Link will be hosting an interest meeting on Tuesday before hitting the ground running in July.
She explained that she hopes to have practices at least two days a week over July in order to begin getting the girls accustomed to the workload, skills training and rules.
Tryouts will be held in August and scheduling will be hashed out between October and November.
“It’s an awesome opportunity that will open up new experiences and avenues beyond high school,” said Link. “We have had great community support and we will be building a solid foundation this year.”
Auburn High School joins other regional schools such as Central-Phenix City, Opelika, and Smiths Station to field flag football teams. The games will be played in a seven-on-seven format with slight variations on the regular rules of high school football.
Link explained that she is still sorting through those rules at this time.
“There will be a learning curve and we will have bumps and bruises,’’ said Link. “This year is the foundation but like all of Auburn city we will strive for success and find success through hard work.”
The interest meeting for any high school girl who wishes to learn more about summer practices and tryouts will be held on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Auburn High School main gym.