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Women Making Foxy Flag Football A League Of Their Own

Sarasota flag football league offers a women-only sports environment.

A Sarasota football league is looking for more players to join its squads and has one major rule: Ladies Only.

It's called Foxy Flag Football, and it's  the idea of Sarasota couple Jessie Lee and Jay Haren wanting to provide a place for women to play football in a competitive and fun environment. 

"It's a great sport, and it's a great way to learn more about the game of football" Lee says. "I know I enjoy watching it a lot more." 

The league is in its third season and is having tryouts this month. Teams play six on six and have businesses sponsor each team. Registration costs $45, which includes a uniform—the bottoms are compression shorts and not lingerie. Players must be 18 years old and up. Plus there's an insurance package offered for $15. About 30 to 45 women have participated in each season, Lee says.

Tryouts are at Twin Lakes Park at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 3, 9, 10 and 16 plus at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 14.

Games are played Tuesday nights at the Sarasota Football Club on Richardson Road near Honore Avenue. 

S.J. Beutl of Sarasota likes the easy-going nature of the league while providing a good workout.

"The coaches are really encouraging, and it's very flexible," Beutl says. "They don't pressure you to anything or force you to come to all the practices because they know that everyone has lives and everyone's schedules are going to differ, so they make their practices very open." 

Gabrielle Otero works at fitness studio On 1 Cycle and heard about the league through an instructor there and wanted to a venue to meet people at after moving from Clearwater.

"It's going to be fun. I don't think it's going to be too intense at all," she said. "It's a good way to meet other girls who have athletic backgrounds."

Though Otero added once the competition heats up, she can be a battler.

Otero's boss, is part of the exception to the "No Boys Allowed" theme at Foxy Flag—the coaches.

On 1 Cycle owner Reid Withrow is a coach in the league and had played minor league football and wanted to get back in the game while promoting his indoor cycling studio. 

"I love to be around football, and I miss it. When something's your passion, you just miss it whether it's Foxy Flag or playing intramurals," Withrow said. 

You'll also find Sarasota Patch's advertising manager Bryon Hepler there, too, as a coach.

 "I thought it was a good fit for networking and meeting fine individuals like Reid and Jay," he said. "I certainly like the networking aspect as well as the competition on the field, and I'm looking forward to a winning season, so come on out, ladies."

Haren says don't let the "it's just for fun" talk by the women fool you. 

"They're all friends and having a good time, but once the whistle blows and the game starts, their competitive nature just comes out of them," Haren says.

Now, Foxy Flag Football is not all work and no play.  Camaraderie is a big part of the league and after the games, the girls just wanna have fun. 

"We always have an after-game party," through select restaurants set up through the league's sponsors, Haren says.

Charity is also part of the league, as at each game players and spectators are asked to give to a charity for the season. This season proceeds are going to United Cerebral Palsy of Sarasota-Manatee, Haren says.

For more information, visit FoxyFlagFootball.com

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