PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — The NFL Pro Bowl Games were this past weekend and for the first time it was a flag football game.

The NFL also hosted its Pro Bowl Games Flag Football Championships for girls and boys across the country including four teams from the Kansas City metro.

One of those teams was the KC Riots Girls U14 team. Most of them weren’t playing organized football before the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl three years ago.

“I would always like to throw the ball around with my dad so I then wanted to be on a team and I wasn’t going to do tackle so I decided to do flag,” seventh grader Elsa Schalekamp said.

In their first season together the Riots qualified for this past weekend’s NFL Flag Football Championships after winning regional competition in Green Bay. They then were in the stands as
NFL Pro Bowl players tried out flag football for the first time.

“When you watch 14 year old girls flag football they almost look quicker and faster and know what they are doing a little bit more when it comes to flag,” 8th grader Caitlin Baker said.

“They had to get used to it and it was kind of fun to be like oh no you can’t do that when they are pros and it was also cool to see them play a game that we’re playing,” seventh grader Annika Berg said.

The KC Riots got to meet some of the league’s best including T.J. Hockenson and Justin Tucker. If the Pro Bowl sticks to flag football the girls would like to see a clinic where maybe both the pros and kids could probably take notes.

“The physical attributes of being a professional athlete we could probably learn that from them but maybe they need to learn a little bit about pulling flags,” Baker, a Riots pass rushing specialist, said.

But they are happy to see extra attention on flag football, especially with the avenues it could open for more girls to enjoy football. New York and California this week both made it a girls high school sport.

“It would be pretty cool to go forward in college and play flag and play a game that I love to play,” Berg, Riots quarterback and All Pro Bowl Games Flag Football Championship Team selection, said.

Youth athletes got the whole Pro Bowl experience as they also got to take part in skills competitions similar to the NFL athletes.