Women's Flag Football inaugural season preview
The new program is set to get its 2023 campaign underway on Wednesday.
In 2021, Bethel Athletics announced the addition of its 19th varsity program: women’s flag football. On Wednesday, head coach Angela Rowe’s squad is set to kick off its historic inaugural season in a matchup with Kansas Wesleyan in Salina.
Action is set to get underway at 6 p.m.
“As the first season is approaching, I’m very excited to see where this program goes,” freshman Ashley SaJous from Columbus, Ga. said. “I’m anxious, nervous, and excited all in one. I’m very excited to see what my team does this spring. [We’ve] been putting in the work and I believe that it’ll show.”
SaJous won’t be able to compete this season as she tore her ACL during the fall’s soccer season. The rest of the team, though, has an overall feeling of excitement leading up to their season and is ready to begin play as they worked hard and built strong team chemistry.
“We’re a very ‘move in silence’ type of team — so I’ll just say we’ve been focusing on the simple things such as catching the ball, pulling flags, making sure our team chemistry is there, and things such as that,” SaJous said.
“Without the simple things, you can’t improve and push on to the more complex things. Those simple things build the foundation for the different routes and plays we run and so on, so making sure we have that down goes a long way.”
Even with the team being young and just (literally) starting out, they have big goals in mind. A conference championship may be hard to reach while sharing a league with the defending national champions in Ottawa, but the Threshers feel they have a bond that has grown in a short amount of time and are putting in the work and dedication that they hope will be reflected in the win column.
Of Bethel’s 11-woman roster, six of them are freshmen. Three are sophomores, one is a junior, and one is a senior. Some are multi-sport athletes, while some are apart of the first flag football-primary class in the school’s history. Jesse McMichael (junior) and Kylah Rome (freshman) are the two listed quarterbacks.
Leading the charge is Rowe, who boasts a decorated resume in women’s football. She was previously the defensive coordinator of the Atlanta Phoenix, as well as a recipient of the Atlanta Xplosion Women's Full Contact Football Iron Women Award, an Independent Women's Football League world champion in 2006 and 2011, USA Football alternate, and the defensive MVP for the United States Flag and Touch Football League.
Bethel is the fourth KCAC school to add a flag football team. It joins Kansas Wesleyan, Ottawa, and Saint Mary.