The Riverview girls flag football team defeated Bloomingdale 20-12 to win its second district championship in school history since 2007, when the team won regionals and went to the state final four in its inaugural season.
“We are just one step closer to showing that we can be the best team in the state,” said senior captain and four-year varsity starter Madysen Carrera. “Yes, winning that trophy was a huge milestone for us as we have not been out of our district since 2007, but we expect the ring this year.”
Wili Sargable, in his fourth season as the head flag football coach, was the wrestling head coach since the school opened in 1998 until handing over the reins to Coach Ryan Hall last season. He also heads the PE Department at Riverview. The wrestling team recently won its first regional title in school history.
According to Sargable, the team has come a long way in his four seasons as head coach. He said that the first season was about changing the culture of the program. During the second season, they started to become more competitive, and in the third season, they lost to Bloomingdale in the district championship before avenging that loss and beating Bloomingdale in the district championship this season. They had only won 11 total games combined in the seven years prior to Sargable becoming head coach.
“It’s been an exciting journey and we look forward, now that we’ve gotten here, to try and maintain these expectations and this excellence going forward.”
In addition to Carrera, team members are Adriana Quiles, Tamia Lindgren, Tania Clark, Querra Jackson, Imani Killings, Jasmine Cox, Breanna LaPanne, Alexa Morel, Katie Muratti, Jewels O’Connor, Brooke Arnold, Caitlyn Nguyen, Stephanie Garcia, Siby Perez, Rachel Zimmer, Kiana Pastrana, Alicia Watson, Faron Malouff, Olivia Zorrilla, Sierra Green and Akilah Charity.
The Sharks will host the regional quarterfinals on Thursday, May 2 against St. Cloud High School from the Orlando area. “We just have to try to go out there and execute every play like we have all season and hope that it’s good enough to come away with a victory,” said Sargable. “It’s another game. It’s four quarters like the last game, the sidelines are the same width, the field is the same length, there are seven girls on the other side of the ball just like our seven girls, we have to downplay the significance of the game and just execute.”
Sargable and his team have big ambitions for the rest of the season, with an ultimate goal of winning the state championship. “We think we have the talent, the coaching staff, now it’s a matter of can we execute and win it,” said Sargable. “We can’t have any slip ups.”