One of the long-term goals of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association is to grow the game of football across the state. 

The first girls flag football state championships in Michigan coming up May 28 in Rochester Hills aims to do just that.

“In our association’s effort to grow the game of football and grow new fans, we realize that there’s 50% of the high school demographic that’s left out of football,” said Scott Farley, former MHSFCA executive director. “We want to promote the game and give girls the opportunity to play flag football.

“It’s another avenue to get more people active in football and bring new fans to the sport.”

Rochester Community Schools will host the first state championships for flag football. Teams are now being recruited for the event. 

“We have almost 20 members of the team and have been practicing twice a week for the past several weeks,” said Nicholas Merlo, Stoney Creek High School varsity football coach. “The team is so excited to showcase their talents and love for the game. 

“Their ability to jump into something new to the state of Michigan and put themselves out there to be the first ever team this spring is truly remarkable.”

Stoney Creek High School will host the championships at 10 a.m. May 28. It could be a tournament or a single game. That will be decided once the number of participants are known. Coach Nick Reed and Rochester High School has joined the effort as well. 

“We are really proud that Stoney Creek and Coach Merlo has taken the steps to make the State Championship happen,” said Westland John Glenn varsity football coach and MHSFCA board member Jason Mensing. “Our young ladies in our state should have more opportunities to participate in football! With this initiative by the MHSFCA and the great work of Coach Merlo it is nice to see this get off the ground. We anticipate tremendous growth in the coming years.” 

Any teams interested in playing in the flag football state championship game should call Coach Nicholas Merlo at (248) 953-0037.

The MHSFCA and its 3,500 members have been promoting high school football in Michigan since 1972.