By Tamas Mondovics
It’s been nearly a year since Bloomingdale closed one of its best athletic seasons in school history, which included the Bulls claiming their first ever flag football district crown.
The girls’ final 6-0 win against district newcomer Durant last year gave a clear testimony to the sport gaining momentum within the region, while proving that competition among the local teams reached the next level and is to remain at an all time high for seasons to come.
Fast forward to today and, in the middle of another competitive district line up, expectations are high for all teams involved, locally lead by Bloomingdale as the top contender, joined by Durant,
Newsome, Spoto, Lennard and Riverview.
Reflecting on last year’s success, as well as the strong start of the current season with a 48-0, 26-0 and a 32-0 win over Brandon, Armwood and Riverview respectively, the Bulls have every reason to be confident of reaching a shot at defending the district title.
Bloomingdale boasts of 17 solid players on varsity, and 20 on its junior varsity team, with a strong team spirit with eyes on the prize.
“We have girls coming from multiple sports to play flag football this year,” Bloomingdale Coach Mike Lankford said adding that eight of his players are joining the team from the school’s basketball program. “This is the most we have ever had.”
But there is more. The girls are having fun and, while Bloomingdale enjoys strengths on both sides of the spectrum, its defense gets plenty of credit.
“Defense is the strength of our team,” Lankford said referring to the Bulls allowing no points against them in the first two games, not to mention nine sacks, eight interceptions with two being returned for a touchdown.
“We have more speed and size then we have ever had,” he added.
While emphasizing a ton of positives, Lankford’s team is not perfect as it has to contend with one specific issue, which based on the program’s current record could actually turn in the program’s favor.
“This is also the youngest team I have ever had,” Lankford said. “We have only returned two offensive and three defensive starters. With the two freshman starters and four sophomore starters, we are working on improving our knowledge of the game.”
The start of the season produced a couple of standouts so far, including Alysa Welker with three receiving touchdowns, and two interceptions. Sophomore running back Jarielys Castro and junior quarterback Sarah Tam, a first year varsity player, who in the first three games of the season has thrown for 10 touchdowns with no interceptions, along with a 61-yard rushing touchdown.
While Lankford acknowledged that this year’s district roster maybe the most competitive in the county from top to bottom, he did not shy away from expressing his confidence in his team when he said, “We like our chances of defending our title, and we will continue to work hard to achieve that goal.”
For more information about the Bloomingdale Bulls athletic season, visit www.c2cschools.com.