Montevallo High School athletics expanding with grant for flag football team

Published 2:06 pm Thursday, June 6, 2024

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By TYLER RALEY | Special to the Reporter

MONTEVALLO – Montevallo High School is expanding its athletic program thanks to a large grant from the Atlanta Falcons, allowing it to start a girls’ flag football team.

The grant is being provided by the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation as part of the franchise’s initiative to strengthen young women with the formation of girls flag football programs around the country.

The foundation named a list of 20 high schools in the state of Alabama that are receiving this funding on May 7, one that Montevallo was included on.

Montevallo athletic director Jim King is ecstatic for what this $6,000 will bring to the school, knowing it will provide great opportunities for the students.

“It’s really a great opportunity to be able to get the grant, help to get the program started, off and running,” King said. “We have girls that love to compete and play and this is another avenue for them that maybe their skill set is more geared towards that’s going to give them an opportunity to really have fun and be part of another type of team.”

The Falcons began a movement in 2021 in partnership with both RCX Sports and the Alabama High School Athletic Association to bring the sport to Alabama. The movement has been successful, as the AHSAA has now made girls flag football an official sport in the state for the 2024-2025 year.

King feels that the partnership is having a positive impact on the future of the sport and hopes that it continues to benefit numerous schools across the state.

“It’s going to allow a lot more teams to go ahead and start up a program where they would not have been able to because of funding,” King said. “The question at any level is ‘Do we have the funds to do it?’ Well, that was answered because of the generosity of the Atlanta Falcons. So that allows us to get that question covered.”

The Bulldogs now prepare to grow the program over the next few years, joining the more than 100 high schools across Alabama that have already initiated flag football teams within their schools.

Montevallo is grateful for what the Falcons are doing for many programs, and especially for the fact that they were chosen in this process to help provide an active experience for more students.

“The more that we can provide with them, the more opportunities that they can have, the greater experience they are going to have in high school,” King said. “What this has allowed us to do is give them another avenue to choose that is going to be a great experience for them because of the values they are going to be taught, the lessons they’re going to learn and the work ethic it’s going to take to be part of it, and those are all very rewarding qualities that you want to be able to be part of.”

The Bulldogs were chosen along with Austin, Brewbaker Tech, Carver-Montgomery, Clark-Shaw Magnet, Decatur, Elberta, Ellwood Christian Academy, Enterprise, Foley, Hazel Green, Marbury, Monroe County, Mountain Brook, Pell City, Percy Julian, Robertsdale, Spanish Fort, Tallassee and Wilcox Central.