Bucs host fourth Girls Flag Football Preseason Classic – ABC Action News Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. — Football season is rolling on in Tampa with the Buccaneers Girls Flag Football Preseason Classic. 70 teams and 1,500 athletes will hit the fields on USF’s campus.
This Buccaneers preseason event is the largest girls flag football tournament in the nation, with teams representing 17 different counties scheduled to participate – including 25 teams from Hillsborough County and 12 from Pinellas County.
Games will take place on Thursday, March 3 from 2:30–9:00 p.m.; Friday, March 4 from 2:30–9:00 p.m.; and Saturday, March 5 from 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. For a full schedule and list of participating schools, see below. The event helps kick off the Florida High School Athletic Association flag football season, which officially begins play on Monday, March 7.
Included in this year’s event are three collegiate flag football programs competing from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) – Thomas University, Warner University, and Webber International – which will take the field on Saturday as part of their regular-season schedules.
“It’s incredible,” said Bucs co-owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz. “We spend so much time telling girls they can do it. Football is for them. We are in the fourth year of this program, and we couldn’t be more proud.”
Bucs offensive lineman Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs were on hand Thursday to take in a full afternoon of football.
“To be able to see them compete, have fun. It’s just a blessing,” Smith said. “Growing up with a house full of women, and I have my own baby girl now, with my lady. It’s just amazing to be here and share this opportunity and amazing moment with them. Shout out to all them out there going to compete.”
Wirfs is an Iowa native, and he said they didn’t have tournaments like this where he grew up.
“I’ve never been a part of something like this. So, it’s awesome to see that,” he said. “I think as time goes on there will be more and more inclusive things. And they’re going to become more popular around the country. They’re kinda like the stepping stone for girls’ sports, and it’s awesome.”
The FHSAA flag football season kicks off on March 7.
In 2021, the Buccaneers launched the Women’s Summit for Careers in Football, an ongoing program that strengthens the pipeline of women pursuing NFL careers through informative, engaging sessions featuring high-profile hosts and Buccaneers leadership. Through the Buccaneers Girls in Football Scholarship, made possible through a $250,000 commitment from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation, the organization became the first NFL team to create an academic scholarship program for girls who play organized football and are passionate about pursuing a career in sports. The team also established the Jr. Bucs Girls Flag Football League, a first-of-its-kind league in the City of Tampa, where the Foundation covers league fees and equipment for girls at 24 Tampa Parks and Recreation centers. And the Buccaneers created the Jr. Bucs Flag Football Program, which grows the game of football in more than 90 Tampa Bay middle schools and supports over 35,000 female students every year.

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