The definition of opportunity is a set of circumstances that makes it possible for you to achieve something. There is a new opportunity for female athletes to receive scholarships to play flag football in college, and two students from Legacy the School of Sport Sciences are taking full advantage.
For the past few decades, flag football has been a popular high school sport in states such as Georgia and Florida, but it has never caught on in Texas...until now. After discovering that scholarships were available to play flag football in college, the staff at Legacy began a mission to bring girls flag football to Houston. After a year of researching, networking and partnering with Texas Fury, NFL Flag, Houston Texans and Nike; the first girls high school flag football event took place on April 9th 2022. Ten Houston-area high schools and middle schools participated in the event, with over 90 female athletes playing flag football for the first time.
Allaya Livingston - a senior at Legacy - took the opportunity and participated in the event. Little did she realize that her athletic abilities would catch the eye of Liz and Katie Sowers, the coaches for Ottawa University. Allaya grew up playing basketball, but she is no stranger to trying new sports. During her senior year at Legacy Allaya, not only scored her 1,000th career points in basketball but she became a NCA All-American Nominee cheerleader, State Champion Softball player, Top 12 sprinter for Texas private schools and flag football player.
Exactly one month after the Houston Texans Flag Football Jamboree, Allaya took a visit to the two-time NAIA National Champions campus, Ottawa University, where Coach Sowers offered Allaya a scholarship to play flag football. Allaya Livingston has been offered the first women’s flag football scholarship to a high school athlete from Houston.
Allaya may be the first to be offered a scholarship to play flag football, but she will not be the first from Houston to play college flag football. Another Legacy alumni has already made her presence known in the sport. Vanessa Towne grew up playing softball and was a member of the sports medicine program at Legacy. Vanessa received a scholarship to attend Kansas Wesleyan University to play softball, but she is now part of their flag football program. Kansas Wesleyan competed in the Silver bracket division of the 2022 NAIA Women’s Flag Football National Championship, where they defeated St. Mary’s. Vanessa Towne is now a NAIA Women’s Flag Football Champion.
College Coaches are just beginning to uncover the raw athletic talent in the city, and these two young ladies are already making a name for themselves in the game. The ten teams who participated in the Houston Texans Jamboree will also get a chance to make a name for themselves next Spring in the first Houston Girls High School Flag Football League. The Houston Texans, Nike and Legacy the School of Sport Sciences will partner up again to create and facilitate the league in the Spring of 2023. Schools lined up to participate include Legacy SSS, Cy-Creek, Awty International, Concordia Lutheran, Houston Gateway Academy, Lifestyle Christian School, ILT Westpark, KIPP Mosaic, Nehemiah, and YellowStone College Prep.
This is just the beginning of something big in Houston and the future of girls flag football. Keep an eye out for upcoming leagues, showcases, combines and other opportunities for girls to play flag football in Houston.