Hillsboro’s Girls Flag Football Team wins inaugural MNPS Championship
Editor’s Note: It is a tradition with the Hillsboro Globe to ask coaches and players when ending a run deep into post-season play to name three words that describes the feeling of success. Coach Scott Davis responded with the following words: Amazing, Awesome, and Unique. Below is his heart-felt response regarding the 7-0 Lady Burros Flag Football team win over the Lady Bobcats of Overton.
Season of Photos for Flag Football – CLICK HERE
The Lady Burros Flag Football team is Amazing, Awesome, and Unique
By Coach Scott Davis
May 7, 2023
With 7.06 seconds left on the game clock, Khaniya Neal made the final stop on the 3-yard line denying the Overton Lady Bobcats from scoring a touchdown to tie or win the first-ever MNPS Girls Flag Football Championship. Coach Fitzgerald immediately called for a timeout and I looked at the referee and said, “We don’t want a timeout!” Coach Fitzgerald looked at me and I said, “Coach we don’t have any timeouts left!” I pointed to the clock 7.06 seconds left on the clock. I said, “Coach, look at the clock, it running and we have won this game!”
The horn sounded with Hillsboro High School winning the Championship 7-0 in the Inaugural season of Girls’ Flag Football! Chaos ensued and the celebration began.
As the festivities were happening, the Hillsboro Globe asked me for three words to describe the season. I immediately came up with Amazing, Awesome, and Eye-Opening; however, over the weekend, I amended it to Amazing, Awesome, and Unique! Here’s why!
How many opportunities does one have to ink into history an amazing moment that is a first in a sport?
Upon receiving the first notice that MNPS was going to have Flag Football for the ladies, I was intrigued by the opportunity. However, I really did not want to be the head coach. This wasn’t because I lacked the ability, but it was more about working relationships with whomever I would coach! This led to the thought if I could get Coach Fitzgerald to be the head coach, I would be the assistant coach.
I approached Coach with the of him becoming the head coach. I would take care of all the minutiae of paperwork, putting out information, equipment, etc. I would be at his disposal and we would work together. We had been working together for a year in the classroom, and success was inevitable. In the meantime, we had not spoken of this partnership to anyone at the administrative level. We were simply talking about the logistics and ways to teach the game.
I was in the Hillsboro school library one morning the HHS Athletic Director, Monique Ferrell walked into the library. Knowing others might be interested in this position, I told Coach Ferrell “Coach Fitzgerald is the head coach and I am the assistant for Flag Football. We have already signed up a team and are holding tryouts in the next two weeks”. The AD simply stated, “Well there you go” they already have it taken care of and I just found out!” I replied, “We have been hard at work, but just had not connected with you yet, but we are full steam ahead”!
Wow, how amazing it is to make school, district, and state history with a little initiative and collaborative partnerships! What an amazing moment in history made by our female athletes who had never played football. Hillsboro High School is the Champion of the Inaugural Season of Flag Football and these young women will remember this amazing moment they made together!
I raised two daughters who were very involved in the sports of basketball and softball. I was always a parent during their time and did not coach them. My sport of choice has always been football and therefore did not have the opportunity to teach them a sport I was passionate to coach.
The players on our team are amazing athletes and learners of the game. I was able to share my passion for the game of football with them on a level that I have shared with male football players during my coaching career. I was privileged to share what I know about a sport with a group of athletes from the ground up.
Coach Fitzgerald and I spent a great deal of time discussing how we were going to teach the game to our athletes. We started with power points discussing the LOS (line of scrimmage); sides of the ball, (Offense and Defense); strength of formations (Left and Right); lining up vs. huddling to call plays. I put all of this information on PowerPoint and we spent two weeks walking through the basics in the beginning.
Even after all of this time in discussion, on our first real practice, Coach Fitzgerald took over the offense and began teaching the Wing T. I took over and coached the defense. During the entire season, the best offense in the league practiced against the best defense in the league. We simply worked it out on the fly without ever discussing or even talking about the transition. I looked at the situation and said, how can I be the best assistant coach possible and help us win? Coaching defense it was, and boy was it Awesome!
During the final regular season game against East, we tweaked the linebacker play ever so slightly. Coach Fitzgerald and I were discussing the athleticism of the East QB and how she made great decisions. The other team was giving her unlimited amounts of time to decide whether to run or pass. It dawned upon me that we did not know how she would react under pressure. The decision was made to move the linebackers to 5 yards deep and rush them every play. I wanted to see if the East QB would make a mistake under pressure.
The plan worked until about 7 minutes left in the game. One of our linebackers decided to not rush and emotionally shut down. I substituted another player for her and began asking the athlete questions to help me understand why she would quit following the calls that had been working. The athlete replied, “She keeps throwing the ball over my head!” I said, “That’s exactly what we want her to do! You are doing what I want you to! Why did you stop?” She stated again, “She keeps throwing the ball over my head!” It was at this moment that I understood, she does not understand why it is okay for the QB to throw the ball over her head. I recognized that a concept that was ingrained in my DNA as a coach was still a teachable moment for this athlete.
I believe that inspiration comes from deep down inside and is divine in nature. At that moment I simply said, “I am Cooking the Soup!” I asked her, “Have you ever cooked a soup”? She replied, “Yes!” I said, “Good! What is the purpose of cooking soup?” She had no answer. I stated, “You cook soup to taste good and you put all kinds of ingredients in the soup. You put carrots, potatoes, meat of your choice, broth, seasonings, and some stuff you just heard was good. However, you want everyone to sit down and visit, have a good time while eating, and when the meal is over, everyone is full and ready for a good night’s sleep! Right! That’s what you want correct?” She replied, “Yes, Coach!”
I then said, “That is what I am doing with all of you on the field. I am cooking soup! Each of you brings something different to the position you play, however, all mixed together you season the soup to taste great! I want the QB to pass the ball over your head, you are making her make poor decisions. That is your part of the soup! The QB is doing exactly what we want her to do!
I went on to explain, “My part is to make the soup taste good with all kinds of different plays. Your part is the carrots, everyone else is either the potatoes, meat, broth, and seasonings. At the end of the game, I want everyone to gather around and say the “Soup we made was Awesome”! Right! Isn’t that what you want?” She replied, “Yes, Coach!”
In those split seconds, I am not sure where that analogy came from, however, I was able to make my point, she was able to understand what was required, and she was able to go back on the field and perform her job! We defeated East by “Cooking Soup!” It was at this moment that I realized, that analogies explaining the game had to be as unique as each of our players are. This uniqueness made me a better coach, a moment that I previously could not conceive would be so important.
In conclusion, I can sum the season up by saying it was Amazing, Awesome, and Unique! Coach Fitzgerald and I were simply two lifelong educators/coaches who set out on a journey together with a group of female athletes to make something special. We do some things differently, but our true love for athletes, male or female, allowed us to come together as a team to cook something up called success. We both wanted only the best for our athletes and coached as though our lives depended on winning. Let it be said, “cooperation, unity, communication, and the “DESIRE” to get along, can be a winning combination”!