REGION — Girls at four high schools in the San Dieguito Union High School District will have a new varsity sports opportunity.
The SDUHSD board on June 15 unanimously approved girls flag football as an official sport at Canyon Crest Academy, La Costa Canyon High School, San Dieguito High School Academy and Torrey Pines High School beginning in the 2023-24 school year.
California Interscholastic Federation, or CIF, the organization that governs high school athletics in the state, approved flag football as a varsity sport earlier this year, to be played during the fall season.
Trustees Rimga Viskanta and Jane Lea Smith both recalled playing powderpuff football and welcomed the idea that girls will now get the chance to play it at a competitive level.
“In high school, we had one game we got to play, and they called it powderpuff,” Viskanta said. “I had so much fun under the stadium lights, and I can’t believe I could only do that once, so I’m so excited that this could be a sport now.”
Before summer break officially started, San Dieguito Academy held an interest meeting for the sport, with more than a dozen girls in attendance.
“Having the 15 (girls) was a good turnout and even the girls said, ‘Hey, we could get more girls out here if we need it,’” said SDA Athletic Director Scott Jordon. “I think this is going to be fun, especially to see that there is definitely interest in it, and I was pleased to see that.”
Torrey Pines AD Charlenne Falcis-Stevens believes the sport is just another way of expanding students’ true potential on the field.
“TPHS is very excited to add girls flag football to our athletic programs,” Falcis-Stevens said. “It’s an opportunity to tap into another group of student-athletes and showcase their talents in the athletic arena.”
Games will begin as early as Aug. 18, and teams can play as many as 28 games, according to the CIF website.
Each of the four SDUHSD schools will receive an estimated $38,000 in funding for the sport to start up, including coaching stipends, cost of officials and equipment.