By JOHN ANDERSON, photos by STEVE HARRISON
CANISTEO — There was a lot of confusion on a brisk April night this past Friday.
The lights went on the football field, teams were warming up, referees were making their way to the field, the stands were filling up, the concession stand had hot chocolate and the Canisteo Police car rolled up and parked by the fence.
It was Friday night lights.
The whistle blew and the game began.
Thanks to the popularity of football with girls, Section V started a flag football season.
And Friday night, the idea became reality and the game was a success.
The visitors from Edison Tech scored first, but Canisteo-Greenwood stormed back to win, 25-12.
Canisteo-Greenwood is taking this very serious. Jamie Freeland, who led Canisteo to many successful football seasons is the head coach. His assistant is Collin Button.
“Coach Button and I are incredibly proud of the way the girls came out and played tonight. We hadn’t been able to scrimmage at all due to scheduling conflicts, and the start of the game was delayed almost an hour, but they stayed focused and played smart, disciplined football,” Freeland said. “We were able to get everyone involved in the game, and had multiple contributors on both sides of the football.”
Kylie Williamson, Sarah Coddington, and Lillian Mullen all ran for touchdowns, while Lillian Mullen also threw a touchdown pass to Katelyn Allen.
Kylie Williamson caught two-point conversion pass from Lillian Mullen to round out the scoring.
On defense, Kylie Williamson and Sarah Coddington led C-G (1-0) in tackling while Kendal Button and Hailey Davis had interceptions.
Freeland was just as excited as he has been in the past during a Section V playoff game.
“This is such an amazing experience four girls, and to be able to add another dimension to the game of football,” Freeland said. “Every year, we see more and more women in the game: coaching, officiating, and in front offices both in the NFL, and various teams, and this new Flag Football program is only going to increase that interest and involvement. “
Freeland thanked Section V and the administration at Canisteo-Greenwood for making this happen for the girls.
“We are appreciative of the opportunity to bring the game to a new generation of players. As someone who loves the game of football and all the lessons it can teach, I could not be happier to be a part of this program,” Freeland said. “Our girls have worked incredibly hard to prepare for the season, and it showed in tonight’s game. Coach Button and I have put a tremendous amount of information and strategy in front of these young women, and they have exceeded our expectations at every turn. The girls have done a fantastic job not only learning the game, but taking our coaching points, and it showed in their performance.”
Canisteo-Greenwood had four more games.
On Saturday, the host Spencerport. On May 12, C-G is at Bishop Kearney. On Saturday, May 21, C-G hosts Irondequoit. The regular season ends on Wednesday, May 25 at Marshall High School.
However, the historic season does not end there. On Saturday, June 4, the girls will play in an event at Highmark Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills, Nike and the NFL are hosting the event.
Steve Harrison’s photo gallery: