Northport High School’s first ever flag football team, composed of 30 girls across all grade levels, is feeling ready to go under the direction of Coach Pat Campbell. With three games already under their belts – a loss to Half Hollow Hills followed by two consecutive wins over Lindenhurst and Harborfields – the girls are just getting started.
Team captains Caitlyn Muzyka, Caitlyn Ryan and Allison Murdock saw the team as an opportunity to both connect with their peers and play under an established coach. Campbell has been the boys varsity football coach for several years. “Mr. Campell’s a really great coach. He’s what motivated me to come do this,” said Caitlyn Muzyka, a senior. “I’m just looking forward to a great season with a bunch of people I haven’t had a chance to play with before.”
Fellow captain and senior Caitlyn Ryan emphasized that her love of team sports helped push her to join. “I thought it would be a really great opportunity to play a sport, I love team sports and that environment, and I did play in Turkey Bowls every year,” she shared.
Both seniors are also varsity soccer players, leaving their spring schedules open.
Captain and junior Allison Murdock saw the increase in teams participating in the sport as an opportunity for NHS.
“I saw a bunch of schools on Long Island popping up everywhere were doing girls flag football and getting sponsored by the Jets and I thought it would be a great idea for Northport to have their own,” she said. She is one of the few team players with experience, having played flag football for two years in her younger grades. She ultimately aged out of the other programs and was excited to have the chance to play again.
The captains are hoping to not only land a few wins in their first season, but also leave a lasting impact on future players. “I’m excited to build what’s probably going to be a really great program for girls coming in,” added Murdock.
Flag football has grown significantly over the last couple years due to increased interest and support from the New York Jets, who have sponsored many of the teams through grants and supplies, such as uniforms. There are now 41 teams competing on Long Island.
Members on the inaugural Northport High School flag football team are: Caroline Bender, Isabella Bica, Kenzie Bliven, Megan Brustmeyer, Hazel Carlson, Nina Corbett, Hannah Del Guidice, Bridget Fitzpatrick, Grace Gilmartin, Kaitlin Hughes, Jamie Inzerillo, Ella Johnson, Alexa Kassan, Brooke Kershow, Ella LaPosta, Brenna Malerba, Stephanie Milonas, Ava Mir, Caeley Monez, Allie Murdock, Caitlyn Muzyka, Caitlin O'Malley, Sarah Power, Dana Restiv, Meghan Ronan, Caitlyn Ryan, Pixie Ryan, Daniella Santagata, Nina Scala and Jamie Weismann.