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The WHS Flag football team wants to repeat as district champions

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Head coach Robert Callovi speaks to his team after the loss to Western on April 2nd. Photo by Mike May

The Wellington High School girls flag football team is motivated by the sweet and bittersweet experience of last season.

Last spring, Wellington won its first district tournament title when it defeated Seminole Ridge High School. But seven days later, both teams met again in the first round of the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 2A state tournament, where Seminole Ridge turned the tables and won 13-6.

Wellington was motivated this season by last year's season-ending loss to Seminole Ridge. As the Wolverines look to repeat as district champions this spring, the 16 players returning from last year's squad are primed for a deeper postseason run.

Under the leadership of head coach Robert Callovi, Wellington had a strong regular season. After 11 games, Wellington is 9-2. The only setbacks were two home losses – a 7-6 loss to Martin County High School on March 27 and a 28-0 loss to Davie's Western High School on April 2.

With the exception of those losses, Wellington's offense has been productive this season, averaging 34.1 points per game in each of its wins, while the defense has been stingy, allowing just 39 points, averaging 4.3 points per game in nine wins.

For many flag football teams, success often revolves around the play of the quarterback. Fortunately, Wellington has a strong and talented signal caller in senior Keelin Coleman, who is determined to continue her flag football career next year at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.

“Keelin has all the tools you want in a quarterback. She is also incredibly hardworking and strives to be as successful as possible,” Callovi said.

After 11 games, Coleman has thrown for more than 2,100 yards and 35 touchdowns. She also threw a few touchdowns.

It's also important to have an athletic group of receivers who can run clear routes, catch and run with the football.

“We are blessed to have a strong receiving team consisting of Avery Schroeder, Angelia Bistrong, Jordan Fernandez and Samantha Ellis, as well as our center Emma Segfeldt and running back Kennady Seider, both of whom play a large role in our passing game,” Callovi said.

Fernandez has the most touchdown catches with 11, while Schroeder has 10.

While Wellington has a prolific offensive attack, its defense has also been stifling.

“Our rusher Sydney Lopez is one of the best in the state,” Callovi said. “She is extremely fast, but she also pursues tirelessly. Linebacker Mia Brown has one of the biggest drives on the team and is all over the field.”

Lopez has recorded 17 sacks so far this season.

While Wellington has many returning players from last year's squad, the team has received a boost from a new addition.

“One of our key reinforcements is a freshman, Madison Rice,” Callovi said. “She helped the starters do their best.”

While Callovi is pleased with his team's strong start to the regular season, there is room for improvement.

“We are happy with the start but continue to look for areas where we can improve and expand as the season progresses,” he said. “In the game against Western they took advantage of their chances to score, we didn’t. We should have scored three points in the first half of this game.”

Callovi knows it will take a total team effort for his team to have a strong run in the postseason.

“We are not satisfied with our current success, but continue to find ways to become a better team and we know that the toughest test is always ahead of us on this day,” he said.

The Wolverines concluded their regular season on Thursday, April 4, with a home game against Cardinal Newman High School. They will then begin their postseason by competing in the district tournament, which begins on Monday, April 8th.

How Wellington performs in the district tournament will determine its placement in the FHSAA's Class 2A state tournament, which begins with the first of three regional playoff games and ends May 10 and 11 in Tampa.

Seminole Ridge wins on Senior Night – It was a victorious final night on Tuesday, April 2, for the Seminole Ridge High School flag football team, which hosted western township rival Palm Beach Central High School (6-8). The Hawks won 13-0.

“It was a pretty sloppy game from us with a lot of turnovers and penalties, unfortunately,” Seminole Ridge head coach Scott O'Hara said.

In the win against Palm Beach Central, quarterback Aubrey Fogel completed 20 of 34 pass attempts and receiver Lola Agosto caught two touchdown passes. On defense, Gisella Negron, Dakota Parks and Sydney Pena had interceptions. Pena also had six flag pulls/tackles.

With the win, Seminole Ridge improved its regular season record to 10-2.

Seminole Ridge concluded its regular season on Thursday, April 4, when the Hawks hosted Central High School from Miami.

As with Wellington, Seminole Ridge's performance in the same local district tournament the week of April 8 will determine its placement in the FHSAA's Class 2A state tournament, leading to the state finals in Tampa on May 10 and 11. Last year's Seminole Ridge team reached the FHSAA Class 2A state tournament and fell in the semifinals.

Seminole Ridge quarterback Aubrey Fogel during the senior night game against Palm Beach Central High School. Photo by Richard Areyzaga Jr.