Issue 4: Six silver rings for the reigning state champs

Robinson flag football secures their fifth state title in a row

Zoe Thaxton and Jennifer Le

The state title for flag football will be staying in the Knight’s territory for yet another year and another trophy to join Coach Joshua Saunders’s shelf.

Robinson won their fifth consecutive Class 1A Flag Football State Championship on Saturday, May 8, at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville, Fla. after two tournament games against the Miami Edison Red Raiders, which was played the day before, and the Florida A&M Baby Rattlers.

Robinson’s team entered the state semi-finals against the Baby Rattlers with their undefeated season on the line. Of Quarterback Sydent Stout’s (’21) four touchdown passes, Jaylen Stasio (’22) would be on the receiving end for two of them while the other half went to Katejion Robinson (’23). Stasio would also lead the Knights in receiving 99 yards. All points scored by the Knights came from the first and third quarters. The Red Raiders would only score with 7:30 left, bringing the game within 19.

Knights beat the Red Raiders 27-8, moving them into the State Final against Florida A&M.

The Knights saved one of their best games for the final one. In the last 7:30 of the first quarter, Stasio would complete a touchdown pass made by Stout, scoring the first seven points of the game. Bella Dolce (’21) extended the Knights’ lead by catching Stout’s touchdown pass from five yards out, ending the first quarter 14-0. Stout would make two more touchdown passes before halftime, finishing the second quarter 28-0.

“Our first touchdown pass, caught by Jaylen Stasio, lifted such a weight off of our chests by scoring and being the first team on the scoreboard. It was one of the best flag football moments I’ve ever experienced” said Stout, who had racked up over 100 touchdown passes this season.

Starting out the second half with the ball, the Knights ensured their state title in two plays when Stout found Robinson, pushing their lead up to 33-0. Head Captain Katie Kemp (’21) and Dolce would keep the Baby Rattlers off for the remainder of the game with interceptions until the last possession of the game saw Quarterback Jade Dubose (’23) meet with Shaviya Williams (’21) scoring the Baby Rattlers their first and last seven points of the game.

“We all had one goal as a team before the game started, and it was to win states, so we played hard throughout the [entire] game. A highlight of it all was dumping the water bucket on Coach Saunders and seeing all of my teammates play during the finals” Dolce said.

Robinson’s flag football team’s state title streak continues as the Knights are crowned state champions, sweeping the finals 33-7. This served as a momentous occasion for many of the players, who’ve been to the championship before, like Kemp.

“I think this year was about proving ourselves and continuing the legacy, and that’s exactly what we did” Kemp said.

The team celebrates their victory and are now back home with their trophy sitting proudly in room 125 with their coach.

“The season’s never really over, but it’s been a tough year for everyone” Saunders said. “The most satisfying thing about this win is the way we managed to safely deal with all the COVID precautions and get this reward in the end.”