BY HANNAH EUBANKS
On Friday, May 12, the girls varsity flag football team dominated at Dr. Michael Krop High School, winning the game 26-8. This game places them into regional finals against Miami Southridge at home on Tuesday, May 16 – a crucial game to win in order to advance to states. With the game ending at 38-0, Cowboys flag football was named regional champions. However, after a close game at states, the Cowboys dropped in semi-finals by a narrow margin.Starting with the first regional game, stress levels rose as the clock ticked closer to game time, but the Cowboys didn’t crumble under pressure or let the unexpected turf or heat advisories get in the way. Starting the game off strong, Gayla Vicnansky scored the first touchdown of the game and after completing the pass for the extra point, she secured an early lead of 7-0 for the Cowboys.
Starting with the first regional game, stress levels rose as the clock ticked closer to game time, but the Cowboys didn’t crumble under pressure or let the unexpected turf or heat advisories get in the way. Starting the game off strong, Gayla Vicnansky scored the first touchdown of the game and after completing the pass for the extra point, she secured an early lead of 7-0 for the Cowboys.On the defensive, freshman Annie Clark kept up the intensity from
On the defensive, freshman Annie Clark kept up the intensity from offense and picked the ball, setting it up for freshman Kimberly Slinkosky to do what she had been known to do all season. She ran the ball all the way down field, splitting players left and right and scoring a touchdown. Vicnansky then put away another extra point, putting the score at 14-0. Slinkosky once again scored a touchdown, giving the Cowboys a 20 point lead. Vicnansky gave it her all on defense as well, getting a pick to keep from giving any lead way to Krop. Krop scored soon after, changing the score to 20-6.
The Cowboys’ defense was revived by Juliette Polanco, who picked the ball bringing the Cowboys back to life. Yet, in spite of the efforts made by the players, the blistering heat intensified, unnecessary balls were thrown and simple flags were missed. These small yet critical errors gave Krop the chance to get a two-point conversion, but the Cowboys held on to their 20-8 lead. With moments left, Slinkosky scored again, solidifying the win and the Cowboys’ spot in the regional finals game with a final score of 26-8.
After the big win on Friday, the Cowboys took on Miami Southridge in the regional final at home, the ultimate game that determined their season’s fate. On offense, Kimberly Slinkosky and Annie Clark scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, while on defense Jenna Jardine and Samantha Stofsky had picks to head into the second quarter at 12-0. The South Ridge defense stepped it up for the second quarter to prevent scoring, but the Cowboys maintained a strong defensive game. Jardine had two picks in a row, and Stofsky’s interception took the game into halftime.
A minor scuffle ensued after halftime, with both teams throwing flags back and forth. As the game resumed, Clark scored one more touchdown, and Gayla Visnansky scored an extra point, raising the score to 19-0. On defense, Visnansky picked the ball, followed by an interception by Katie Slinkosky. In a showcase of sisterly teamwork, Katie got the ball back for the Cowboys and Kimberly Slinkosky scored a touchdown, bringing the score to 25-0.
Toward the end of the game, Emma Anderson and Stofsky worked together to get a touchdown as Stofsky secured the extra point. Once back on defense, captain Katie Slinkosky helped her teammate out and intercepted the ball. The final touchdown of the night was by Rachel Rolfs, ending the game at 38-0.
The state semi-final game was held on May 19 against Seminole Ridge. The Cowboys lost by a narrow margin, but their accomplishments are the first of their kind in years.
Though the odds were stacked against them, the Cowboys came out on top once again.
Featured image by Karina Blodnieks