Flag football: Rams jamboree hosts more than 1,200 girls

Footballs were flying and flags were falling Saturday at Drollinger Field on the campus of Loyola Marymount University, where the Rams hosted their inaugural Girls Flag Football Jamboree.

The event, co-sponsored by Bridgestone, featured 56 teams divided into four groups of 14 and provided more than 1,200 players from throughout Southern California an opportunity to compete against each other in celebration of the initial season of flag football as a sanctioned CIF sport. The free event included shortened games, tug-of-war tournaments, a vendor village and three “Women in Business” panels featuring Caitlyn Ranson, Bridgestone America’s senior manager of partnership marketing, and moderated by Molly Higgins, the Rams’ executive vice president of community impact and engagement.

“The Rams and Bridgestone believe every girl should have a chance to play any sport they want and football is a game which develops transferable life character, promotes health and wellness, enhances opportunities to further education and broadens perspectives while building a sense of community and creating more pathways for young women in sports,” Ranson said. “Through this and similar events we’re hoping to bring more awareness to girls flag football.”

Coordinated by Noel Grigsby, Rams coordinator of social justice and football development, the competition started at 9 a.m. with four games played simultaneously on narrowed fields and shortened to 20 minutes in length.

Eagle Rock, the top team in the City Section, lost to Westlake 2-0 on a safety.

Valley View lost all three of its games in Group 2 by 6-0, 6-0 and 7-0 scores, but redeemed itself by winning the tug-of-war championship — and Oakley sunglasses for each girl — against Ventura.

Gardena Serra won its three contests against Sylmar, Rise Kohyang and Sierra Vista thanks to several long touchdown catches by Eryn Carter.

Garfield finished 1-2 but coach Oscar Tavera said his girls had fun nonetheless: “It opened their eyes that there are schools outside of East L.A. We thank the Rams for inviting us out. Today it’s not about the records, it’s about celebrating the sport. This is a win-win all around.”

Lancaster scored a last-second touchdown to tie Tesoro in Group 3. Long Beach Wilson looked strong, as did Knight, which blanked Lawndale 14-0 and Washington 22-0 before being edged by St. Bonaventure 6-0.