The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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I Am Mill Valley: Senior Emily Summa defies gender norms through participation in flag football

Summa plays through the National Football League’s program Girls Play Flag Football
By Elizabeth Summa
Amidst a hand-off in her second year of flag football practice, senior Emily Summa sets her gaze on the end-zone to score a touchdown Wednesday, Oct. 18

This profile is part of a year-long series called “I Am Mill Valley” that will showcase the talents, interests and achievements of the students and staff at Mill Valley.

Twice a week, senior Emily Summa makes the half hour drive to play flag football with her team through the National Football League’s program Girls Play Flag Football.

The program has teams for girls 5-18 years old. In Summa’s age division, there are six total teams to compete against in the seven week season. The games take place at Notre Dame de Sion High School each weekend of the season.

Summa first heard about the program two years ago and was immediately interested, even though she had never played flag football before.

[Summa is] a good example of what we need when it comes to building female flag football.

— Coach Derrick Hunter

“My dad and I used to play football together in the pool but I never played actual football,” Summa said.

She quickly fell in love with everything about the sport.

“I love pulling people’s flags and intercepting balls and catching the balls and everything,” Summa said. “It’s so fun.”

Summa’s coach, Derrick Hunter, believes that Summa is an asset to the team.

“I think she’s doing a phenomenal job of advocating for the sport,” Hunter said. “She’s a hell of an athlete. She plays aggressive, she plays tough and she’s intelligent. She understands the concept of the game.”

Beyond understanding the game, Summa believes that participating in a male-dominated sport makes her feel more confident.

“I feel powerful,” Summa said. “I feel like I can wrestle anybody and I can beat people up. I’m not scared of people.”

Hunter hopes that the female flag football continues to grow, so more young girls can feel like Summa does.

“She should continue to push it and advocate for [women’s sports] because she’s a good example of what we need when it comes to building female flag football,” Hunter said.

By Avery Clement
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About the Contributors
Emma Clement
Emma Clement, JagWire editor-in-chief, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief
This is senior Emma Clement’s third year on the JagWire staff. This year she is JagWire and Mill Valley News editor-in-chief, in addition to being a writer and designer for the newspaper. When she is not working on journalism, Emma enjoys reading, drawing, painting, watching TV shows and spending time with friends and family. She is also involved at Mill Valley as NHS president, Spanish NHS vice president, Youth for Refugees president, Model UN president, NAHS vice president and is a member of NEHS, Scholar’s Bowl and Women’s Empowerment Club. Outside of school, Emma works at Pinnacle Gymnastics as a gymnastics coach and is on the editorial board for elementia, the Johnson County Library’s teen literary magazine.
Avery Clement
Avery Clement, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is Sophomore Avery Clement’s first year on the JagWire staff. She is looking forward to learning about designing, writing and photography for the JagWire. Outside of journalism, Avery enjoys watching movies, crocheting and thrifting and reselling clothes. She also works as a gymnastics coach at Pinnacle gymnastics. She is a member of Youth for Refugees and Women's Empowerment Club and is also in Model UN. She is looking forward to a fun year on the JagWire staff.
Elizabeth Summa
Elizabeth Summa, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is senior Elizabeth Summa’s third year on the JagWire staff and she will be taking the role of being a photographer. Outside of journalism, Elizabeth spends her time shopping, listening to music and watching sports. Her favorite team to watch is Sporting Kansas City.

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