TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hosting the largest girls flag football tournament in the country ahead of the start of the regular flag football season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation Girls Flag Football Preseason Classic consists of nearly 50 girls flag football teams throughout the state of Florida with teams representing 13 different counties scheduled to participate – including 21 teams from Hillsborough County and eight from Pinellas County.
The Buccaneers created the event to support women in football.
The Super Bowl Champs have two female coaches on their staff and assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust says she feels she has an added responsibility in her current role.
“When we were younger, it was not there,” said Locust in regards to the sport of flag football. “You didn’t see it. You didn’t have representation. Now, because of organizations like the Bucs, you see that diversity. You know what is possible and, if that is what you choose to do, that is great. You can do it instead of saying, ‘What if?’ It is like, ‘Why not?’ Why not follow this path? Why not play football at the next level? Why not apply for that scholarship? It just means a lot that there may be changes we can affect just by our presence here doing what we love to do already.”
The tournament runs until Feb. 27 at the Tournament SportsPlex of Tampa Bay.