Inaugural season kicks off for Arizona girls flag football: 'It means everything to me'

It was a big night for local girls who love to play football – it's the first year that girls flag football is a sanctioned sport.

On Aug. 29, the inaugural season kicked off.

Despite the brutal heat, nothing could stop the determined young women from playing the game they love.

"It means everything to me because when I first started playing football, I never envisioned it going anywhere if I'm being honest," Freshman Amaya Moreno from Mountain Pointe High School said. "But now the Arizona Cardinals are here, I can play at the collegiate level, it’s just amazing that us girls get this opportunity."

"I think it’s so fun, such a great opportunity playing a new sport that most people in the past haven't been able to play," Senior Tessa Christensen from Mountain View High School said. "I just think it’s awesome that it’s an actual sport now."

Mountain Pointe High School took on Mountain View High School in Mesa.

Christensen is a safety.

"I love it because I can see the whole field," she said. "I personally just love running, I've done all sorts of sports, like soccer. I think it’s just a fun thing to play. I love it."

Moreno plays quarterback for Mountain Pointe.

"I like that it’s a challenge because I played other positions, but I just find quarterback the most challenging," Moreno said. "It’s the hardest position in sports for sure. Just the leadership aspect of it. I love leading a team to a victory."

The Arizona Cardinals and Nike also got involved in the game to help kick off the inaugural season.

Star quarterback Kyler Murray surprised fans and helped with the coin toss.

Nicole Bidwill with the NFL team said, "These women have been fans of football for so long, and they're finally being recognized at the high school level. We're excited to be out here supporting them, they're trailblazing for other women who really want to play."

As more young women play, the hope is that the sport will continue to grow.

"If there's an opportunity, I think that it would be awesome to play flag football in college," Christensen said.

Christensen did her job on defense, and Moreno threw a long ball, but number 15 was waiting. Christensen picked off the pass and ran it in for a touchdown.

The Mountain View crowd screamed.

Fifty-seven schools in Arizona are now offering sanctioned girls flag football.