Knights to play in Buccaneer’s flag tournament

Alanna Felton, Editor-in-Chief

This weekend, the Robinson flag football team will compete against states from around the state of Florida in the Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s Preseason Classic tournament at One Buc Place.

“There’s really nice practice fields and facilities that high athletes usually don’t have access to,” team captain Sophie Bailey (’19) said. “It’s not a tournament where there’s winner, per say, but each team plays two games.”

The tournament was originally held on a much smaller scale in 2015, with just 12 teams competing. This year 37 teams will be competing, including the Knights.

“I think its one of the biggest flag tournaments we’ve had,” Bailey said.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers reached out to the head coaches of Robinson and Alonso’s flag football teams to discuss hosting the tournament again.

“They wanted to be more involved with girls flag football so they came to us,” Head Coach Joshua Saunders said. “We ran the football side of it, the Bucs handled the logistics side of it.”

Some junior varsity players will play alongside the varsity team in the tournament. Kelsey Campbell (’19) first played in the tournament as a freshman, and believes that participating will help junior varsity players know what to expect as upperclassmen.

“They get to experience the high intensity that varsity brings,” Campbell said. “It’s a different mentality.”

The tournament will also bring the Knights into contact with teams from districts that they do not play during their regular season.

“A lot of times the same teams win their areas and you don’t really get to see the teams that don’t make it out of their district,” Bailey said.

Bailey and Saunders both agree that playing team from outside their districts helps the flag team to improve their skills and range of experience.

“Seeing teams from different places gives us a more statewide view,” Saunders said. “Since our goal is always the state title, knowing teams from different areas is helpful.”