ISSUE 3: Preview: Flag Football Flies Right Into the 2022 Season

With many new goals and opportunities, the RHS flag football team gets ready for the new season.


Photo Juno Le

Katejion Robinson (’23) runs with the ball at the start of the game at last year’s Preseason Classic.

As spring sports start again, the Robinson flag football team is coming back again for another season. Tryouts were held Monday, Feb. 14 and Tuesday, Feb. 15 this year.

Last season, the Knights were undefeated with 22 wins and won the states championship, making this the sixth state title they have received. With several new members, including 10 freshmen, on the team this year, Coach Joshua Saunders anticipates nothing less.

“We’ve got a lot of young kids [this year], playing different and more important roles,” Saunders said. “I feel like this would require a lot more learning and teaching, in order for us to get to where we want to get to, to win.”

This season, senior captains Jaylen Stasio (’22), Brianna Stearns (’22) and junior captains Julia Guillermo (’23) and Katejion Robinson (’23) already have numerous goals they are prepared to accomplish.

“A goal I have for myself is to just stay consistent,” Sterns said. “I want my passing completion rate 70% or higher and want to be comfortable in my ability to make reads. As a team, I believe we also want to win the academic state championship as well as focus on the #littlethings.”

With the team being featured in a Nike commercial last year, Robinson flag was also recently recognized as one of the first Nike Elite High School Flag Football teams in the country, along with Alonso High School.

“Filming the Nike commercial is definitely a core memory for most of us, including myself,” Sterns also said. “Just knowing that we were a part of the process to get girls across the country involved in the program was really awesome. I even got to be in a scene with Sydney Hall (’22) and Christal Rolack (’22).”

Despite COVID bringing them a lot of challenges these last two years, it hasn’t stopped them.

“Players getting sick or quarantined was a major concern we had last year because after the previous season was canceled, we all just wanted to play,” Sterns expressed. “So to ensure we stayed safe and could continue our season, some players did school virtually, including me and others would make sure to distance themselves in the classroom and lunchroom.”

But all this victory doesn’t come easy. The Knights have been practicing nonstop as the season slowly approaches them.

“I yell at them a lot, ” Saunders said. He admits that is what keeps them hardworking. “Other teams are always trying to catch up to us. If we work harder than everybody else, then we’ll keep that separation.”

The Robinson flag football team has their Preseason Classic on Thursday, Mar. 3 against St. Pete High School and East Lake High School at USF and their first game against Riverview High Wednesday, Mar. 9 at home.

“I would say that Robinson flag has changed my life by giving me an opportunity to meet new people and develop a lot of friendships,” Bella Rodrigues (’23) said. “It has made being a student a lot more enjoyable and has taught me how to be more outgoing as well as how to manage my time well since I have to balance school work with flag practices and games.”

For more information and updates, follow them on Instagram @robinsonflagfootball or visit their website