The Student News Site of Redwood High School

Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Twelve seniors were presented with awards to recognize their commitment to being outstanding high school athletes (Photo by Zoe Gister).
Redwood senior athletes recognized in new venue celebration
Charlotte LacyMay 30, 2024

On May 20, senior athletes, parents and coaches gathered at Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon to recognize and celebrate the seniors committed...

Smiling and holding their floats, seniors make the most of their lunch.
Seniors stay a-float for senior week
Hannah HerbstMay 29, 2024

On Tuesday, May 28, after a long Memorial Day Weekend and with only twelve more academic days left of school, leadership kicked off Senior...

Boys’ varsity baseball marks history with first-ever state playoff victory
Boys’ varsity baseball marks history with first-ever state playoff victory
Will ParsonsMay 29, 2024

On May 28, the Giants’ varsity baseball team took on the Carmel Padres in the first Norcal state playoff game in the program’s history. The...

A touchdown for equality: Girls flag football in high schools

After winning the US Open at the young age of 19 on Sept. 9, 2023, Coco Gauff showed young athletes worldwide that anything is possible. To encourage the emergence of more exceptional female athletes similar to Gauff, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), which is the governing group for high school sports in California, approved women’s flag football on Feb. 3, 2023.

After the approval, two high schools in Marin County jumped at the chance to create teams: San Marin High School, with 23 players and Terra Linda High School (TL), with 16 players.

Ellie Gilbert, a junior on the TL team, is the running back for the Trojans and worked to start their women’s flag football team. Gilbert is involved in the San Francisco 49ers Foundation, which provides free access to training and resources to start flag football leagues across the Bay. Gilbert has used the resources the foundation has provided to help start TLs flag football team.

Setting up, running back Ellie Gilbert prepares to catch the ball from quarterback Liv Offenbach.

“I had been working with the [San Francisco] 49ers and their youth foundation. I expressed interest [in starting a flag football team] before it became a CIF sport. Then, I brought it up to our athletic director, Mr. Farbstein, [and] he said that if we could get a good group of girls together, we could start off as a club until it becomes a CIF regulated sport,” Gilbert said. 

Following the support of Farbstein, Gilbert created a flag football club that helped the sport gain popularity and allowed the players to learn the rules. After gaining enough players, 11, more than a year after establishment, the Trojans had their first official game of the season on Sept. 13. While the Trojans were defeated 12-19, the team was exhilarated by the chance to have played a real game.

Practicing their defense, Jessamyn da Cunha tries to stop Emberly Lopez Escobar from catching the ball.

“It was the most exhilarating moment [our team has] had. To know that we finally got to that point where we were playing our first game of high school football, was the most amazing feeling ever. Win or lose, everyone was just thrilled to be there,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert hopes to see all the schools in the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) start a team, as she believes the sport will continue to gain popularity.

TUHSD schools are yet to have flag football teams, but athletic director Jessica Peisch notes that there is a process for adding an 8th sport to the fall season for Redwood’s female athletes. 

“The criteria for adding a TUHSD athletic team is that it must be a CIF approved sport and there must be interest from the community. So what we do in this situation is if students come and say hey, we’re interested in having a team, we would do informational meetings. I will talk about what the season looks like, what the practices and games look like because then there must be interest in adding the sport for all three [TUHSD] sites,” Peisch said.

Junior Maya Saibel, who currently plays field hockey and basketball, hopes that Redwood will work to start a flag football team. Saibel has experience with the sport and competitive nature of the game, as she was the quarterback for her all girls flag football team in 2020.  

“My team was in the Next Level League, a boys’ league. We had a lot of fun competing against the boys and getting the opportunity to play flag football,” Saibel said.

Congratulating one another, juniors and seniors celebrate another exciting edition of the Klassy Kick off game last year. (Photo courtesy of Gil Ladetzky)

Saibel is looking forward to playing football again this upcoming October, as Redwood hosts a “Klassy Kickoff” girls’ flag football game every year during Homecoming. Recently, it has become so popular that a lottery system has been implemented to decide on teams, which makes Saibel and others hopeful that a women’s flag football team could eventually be made. 

This emergence of women’s high school flag football in California symbolizes a significant step forward for female athletes. It represents a growing trend towards greater gender inclusivity in high school sports. As this initiative takes root, it opens doors for more young women to engage in sports, fostering a more diverse and inclusive community while inspiring future female athletes. 

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Charlotte Lacy
Charlotte Lacy, News Editor
Charlotte Lacy is a junior at Redwood High School and is a news editor for the Bark. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, running track, and playing with her dogs.