The New York Jets have donated $1,000 to support the district’s new girls varsity flag football program, while naming sophomore Brianna Juncaj as a recent Gatorade “Player of the Week.”
This spring season, the Jets, Nike and Gatorade are hosting an eight-game series at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. As part of that, a “Player of the Week” is recognized.
The girls varsity team team played Middletown on April 22 at the New Jersey training center, with a resounding 32-0 Minisink win.
“We’re honored and thrilled to be recognized by the Jets organization and for Briana to be named a Gatorade ‘Player of the Week,'” said Athletic Director Tim Bult. “Head Coach Mike Tepper is instilling important leadership, sportsmanship, and self-confidence skills in our team, and those skills are apparent in all this team does.”
The New York Jets, Nike and Gatorade announced the expansion of their High School Girls Flag Football League earlier this year. The league expanded to over 100 teams in the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New Jersey, building upon the eight New Jersey schools that launched the league in 2021.
The Jets, Nike, Gatorade believe girls should have the opportunity to play football and experience everything the game offers.
“The Jets High School Girls Flag Football League provides character building, perseverance, teamwork and dedication skills that will empower these girls throughout every aspect of their lives,” a website statement said. “This is the third year for the Jets High School Girls Flag Football League in New Jersey, the second in Long Island, and the first in the Hudson Valley with the long-term goal to have the sport adopted as an official varsity championship sport in both states. The league will culminate with New York State and New Jersey Championship games at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on June 10.”
In 2023, the number of schools participating in high school girls flag football is anticipated to be over 140 schools. This past February, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) voted to recognize girls flag football as an official high school state championship sport starting in Spring 2024.