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Barlow Introduces Two New Emerging Activities: Girls Flag Football and Boys Volleyball

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Britney Henderson
Barlow’s new emerging activities, girls flag football and boys volleyball, will begin in mid March of 2024.

Last spring, at the annual Oregon High School Athletic Directors Conference, two Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) Emerging Activities were presented to athletic directors across the state: girls flag football and boys volleyball. Sam Barlow’s Athletic Director, Dan Dalzell, saw these two events as the perfect addition to the spring sports already offered at Barlow in the 2023-2024 school year.

Classified not as a spring sport but as emerging activities, girls flag football and boys volleyball were designed to further enhance student engagement in high schools across the state of Oregon. Dalzell elaborates, “The hope of any new sport is to get kids involved who aren’t already in athletics; while at the same time allowing those who already play a sport to join as well.” With this in mind, Dalzell has helped arrange a schedule for both activities that will allow athletes playing spring sports to participate as well. 

Rather than playing in the standard Mount Hood Conference, consisting of local 6A high schools, girls flag football and boys volleyball will be part of regions made up of all high schools across Oregon, regardless of OSAA classification. However, it is expected most high schools Barlow will compete against will be on the east side.

Additionally, instead of a full week of practices and games, practices will be held two to three times a week, and games are most likely to occur once a week. Furthermore, Dalzell informs practice times will be later, perhaps at six or seven at night, to ensure spring athletes have the proper time to partake in a full practice before girls flag football or boys volleyball practice. 

Last year, around 30 high schools participated in the growing sport of boys volleyball. This year, Barlow will be among the 70 schools predicted to participate and coached by Barlow’s own Chris Holzbach as well as Estacada High School Counselor, and Barlow parent, Steven Christiansen. Dalzell also hints at the possibility of a select few girls volleyball players volunteering their time and assisting the team. Both Coach Christiansen and Coach Holzbach regard this opportunity as a great way to maintain or improve physical fitness, build communication and teamwork, and of course, have lots of fun representing the Bruin Nation. In addition to reaching out to coaches or Mr. Dalzell for more information, text @barlowvb to 81010 to join the “Remind” messaging program to gain further details about the upcoming season. 

Girls flag football gained large amounts of attention this year when the emerging activity revived its first sponsor: Nike. Dalzell shares that there are a lot of equipment expenses that come with flag football, but when Nike stepped in and volunteered to pay for uniforms, those worries fell by the wayside. Girls flag football will be coached by Barlow PE department’s Terry Summerfield and Neil Collins. As varsity assistant coaches in the regular football season, Summerfield and Collins are no strangers to the sport. Collins shares his main goal is to get enough interest to fill at least one team this season, and after hearing how much fun it is, he hopes to expand the program size to a varsity and junior varsity team in future years.

Girls flag football and boys volleyball are great opportunities for all students, regardless of grade or current abilities. Both are exciting new additions that have gained unwavering support all across Barlow. “I’ve heard teachers say that they wished they had (girls) flag football or boys volleyball when they were at Barlow,” Dalzell remarks. 

Whether you plan on trying out to be a part of a team or choose to support from the bleachers, be sure to go out and demonstrate your unfiltered Bruin pride in hopes of expanding the girls flag football and boys volleyball programs at Barlow in years to come.

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Britney Henderson, Editor in Chief

Hi I’m Britney! I am a Senior and this is my second year on the Bruin Banner. I enjoy reading and writing. Outside of school I love playing softball and paddle boarding!

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