Flag football for girls is the fastest growing sport in Georgian schools

Flag football for girls is currently the fastest growing high school sport in Georgia, according to the Georgia High School Association. More than half of their schools now have a team, and more are on the way.

McEachern High School in Powder Springs is currently the state’s top-ranked team. That’s according to MAXPREPS, a high school sports website. And McEachern’s senior quarterback, Amber Kirkpatrick, was recently named Georgia High School Football Daily Player of the Week. Amber led McEachern to a regular season 16-0 and finished the season with over 2,800 passing yards, 49 touchdowns and 254 rushing yards, among other things.

Kirkpatrick spoke to GPB along with her trainer Jake Bergdorf morning edition Host Leah Fleming recently.


Amber Kirkpatrick: The sport didn’t interest me very much at first. However, my family is a very sporty family and I thought I would give it a try. And once I tried it, I loved it. I’m so happy I decided to play. It gave me something new to do and to learn about myself.

Leah Fleming: What are your goals as an athlete?

Amber Kirkpatrick: No matter what sport I play, whether it’s flag football or lacrosse, I always become a student of the game and always absorb what my coaches have to tell me and just prepare for whatever I need to do.

Leah Fleming: Does your school have as much school spirit for girls’ games as for boys? Do they come out and watch you play?

Amber Kirkpatrick: I would say after seeing how successful our season was they came out and visited us. But there is definitely a lot more love for boys’ sport than there is for ours.

Leah Fleming: So, Coach Jake Bergdorf, you graduated from college where you played football yourself. How did you get into coaching girls’ flag football?

Jake Bergdorf: I graduated from Valdosta State and played soccer for a few years. My dad was the high school coach for 30 years. As a kid, I was always on the sidelines. I was a water boy. I grew up playing soccer. Then I was a high school football coach for seven years; play football at McEachern for six years. And I honestly had never coached girls before. And I was like, ‘You know what? I have a daughter and this is a perfect opportunity for me to learn something.” I treat flag football the same way I treat tackle football. We watch movies. The girls are all into it, you know, and that — that’s what has made our program so successful, is the seriousness of our players.

Leah Fleming: What are you looking forward to as you prepare for these playoffs?

Jake Bergdorf: Personally, I don’t like to talk about it and I’m too excited. With our group we are focused on today and only today because when we look ahead we may miss a team and it’s win or go home at that point. We have to take it day by day and focus on getting better today.


Jake Bergdorf is the coach of the girls’ flag football team at McEachern High School in Powder Springs. Amber Kirkpatrick is a senior preparing for graduation and also quarterback for McEachern High School’s flag soccer team.

GPB Sports will be broadcasting the first and second round playoff games live from McEachern High School on Tuesday, November 29th. The winners of the two first round games play immediately after the second round game.

Here is the schedule:

  • 6 p.m. Walton (in white jerseys) vs. McEachern (blue jerseys)
  • 7pm Alpharetta (white jerseys) vs. Brookwood (dark jerseys)
  • 8 p.m. Game 2 winner (white jerseys) vs. Game 1 winner (dark jerseys)

GPB will also stream all flag football semi-final games live from the Falcons training facility in Suwanee on December 5th and will stream the league games live on GPB-TV on Thursday December 8th.