A new girls flag football program will be debuting in the spring for Pioneer athletes.

Flag football launched in Spring 2022 in a partnership among the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) and the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, and New York Jets. Following a successful start, flag football is now categorized as an “emerging sport” by the NYSPHSAA.

Teams will field 7-on-7 squads, utilize a smaller field and ball, and play two 24-minute halves. There will be no tackling and only limited contact. 

For more on flag football rules, click here

Interest in flag football has been great, according to Pioneer Athletic Director Bill Weidner. “I decided to begin the program here because I can see it’s going to grow quickly in the state and nationwide, and because it fits our kids and community so well,” he said.

Flag football will be coached by Chris Edwards, a former Pioneer wrestling and assistant football coach, and current tennis and JV girls soccer coach . Players in grades 9-12 are eligible.

NYSPHSAA has also proposed creating a state tournament for flag football in 2024.

Here is the Panthers' flag football schedule:

  • April 11 vs Dunkirk, 5:00 p.m. (scrimmage)
  • April 15 vs Lew-Port, 5:00 p.m.
  • April 19 at Amherst, 4:30 p.m.
  • April 29 vs. N. Tonawanda, 10:00 a.m.
  • May 6 vs. Iroquois, 7:00 p.m.
  • May 10 at Williamsville East, 5:00 p.m. 
  • May 13 vs Hamburg, 10:00 a.m.
  • May 18 at Williamsville South, 5:00 p.m.