BY JUSTIN TRAUSCH
FOR THE OPELIKA OBSERVER
As the summer starts to come to an end, and children prepare to head back to school next month, so too comes the end of the first All-Girls NFL Flag Football League’s season in Columbus and Phenix City.
Representing Lee County in the competition is Opelika’s very own Dawg Pound. Along with the four youth boys’ teams that have been operating since 2017, this year marked the first time that the Dawg Pound has a competitive girls’ flag football team.
Head coach Michelle Vann took a chance with the newly founded team and has already found great success with them.
“My son actually plays for Dawg Pound football for the boys,” Vann said. “He started playing for them last year and I saw them ask about [a girls’ flag football coach.] They were needing coaches for it, and I’ve coached for over 10 years now, specifically mostly with girls in all kinds of sports. I thought it was neat and volunteered to be head coach.”
The team had a solid turnout back in March with 15 girls joining the squad. They quickly won their first 14-and-under tournament in Montgomery a few months later, going undefeated in the process.
The team then had to split into two separate squads to compete in the Columbus/Phenix City League. Monday was the semifinal game between both Dawg Pound teams, but Vann’s side came out victorious.
“Girls’ football, flag football, is coming up,” Vann said. “It’s kind of like girls’ wrestling — its exploding. It’s really exciting.”
The Columbus Lions, of the National Arena League, and Phenix City Parks and Recreation have been partnering to host games since early June. The championship game is set to be played on Saturday, July 23 at the Columbus Civic Center, Home of the Lions. The game will start at 2:15 p.m. CST.
“It’s going to be a great game,” Vann said. “As one of the top two teams in the league, we’ve been battling each other all season long. It should be exciting.”