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2024 Flag Football Captains

Get to know more about Robinson Flag's captains with these Q&As.


Manasvi Flag.jpeg

HEAD CAPTAIN: Mansavi Vijayaraghavan 

POSITION:  Inside Receiver, Linebacker


Q:  Why did you choose to join Robinson Flag?

A: I chose to join Robinson Flag because I started to play flag in middle school and over the years, grew a strong passion for it. Coming into high school I knew I wanted to involve myself in this program as I had heard many good things about it, and I am so glad that I did because without that choice I would not be the person I am today and would not have the support system that I have either.

Q:  What is your favorite flag memory? On the field and off the field...

A:  My favorite flag memory on the field was Bella R., one of last year’s captains, scoring a touchdown to end the state’s final game. This moment is one that I will never forget because of the adversity that she overcame on and off the field. To see her have that experience brings me to tears. Off the field, my favorite memory is traveling across the country with my closest friends and getting to record every moment of it. Through this traveling, we have made so many memories and inside jokes that I will never forget and will always have a special part in my heart.

Q:  In your opinion, what makes flag unique from other sports and activities?

A:  Flag is unique from other sports because of the people and coaches involved in the program. Being on Robinson Flag for a couple of years now, I have realized how different the environment is within our team. Everyone is very supportive of each other and always helps each other improve not only as a player but as a human. I have learned first-hand that this program has made me a better person overall and has taught me many important lessons that will benefit me throughout my life.

Q:  What advice would you give to a new player unsure if flag is for them?

A: I would say, Just do it! Throughout high school, if there is one thing, I have learned it is that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Even if it might be out of your comfort zone, everyone is so welcoming and encouraging of you to reach your full potential. Coming in as a freshman knowing that Robinson Flag program significantly helps make a name for the sport of flag football was extremely nerve-wracking, but as soon as I stepped foot on the field I knew I wanted to be here because felt so welcomed and everyone was always looking out for me to reach my full potential as a player. I made a life-long family and this would have never been the case if I didn’t take that first step my freshman year.


CAPTAIN: Tammy Jerson

POSITION: Wide Receiver, Linebacker


Q:  Why did you choose to join Robinson Flag?

A:  I chose Robinson Flag because I wanted to be more social and more involved with my school. When I learned of the program, it wasn’t because of how good they were but because of the community they built. When I went to one of the offseason practices, I was extremely nervous because I was trying out a new sport and I didn’t know anyone excepts the kids in my grade that brought me to the practice. As soon as we started practice I began to feel at ease and not long after I felt at home with the team and the coaches. It was the community that I felt I was a part of that led me to choosing to join Robinson flag. 

Q:  What is your favorite flag memory? On the field and off the field...

A:  On the field, my favorite flag memory was at a practice when Coach Saunders had our starting center and captain on the 2023 Robinson Flag team, Bella Rodrigues, playing QB. We ran a play where the center at the time, Ryan Leclair, would receive the ball. I was running my route for the play when all I heard was “RYAN RUN!” from Bella. I look back and all I see is the sheer panic on Bella’s face and the last minute throw she made when Ryan finally got up to run the route. I never laughed so hard at a practice. When I asked Ryan why she didn’t run her route immediately she said, “I was just in so much shock that Bella was actually QB that I forgot what the play was.”

My favorite off the field flag memory was not necessarily an extremely special one but it’s one that reminds me that i made a great decision to join Robinson flag. It was after the 2023 district championship game, when the varsity team and few of the JV players that got brought up for playoffs went to Dairy Joy, the local ice cream parlor, to celebrate. We spent the night making TikToks, laughing, and talking about anything and everything. It was in that moment that I knew that I was right where I needed to be.

Q:  In your opinion, what makes flag unique from other sports and activities?

A:  Flag is unique from other sports because of the relationships you build with your teammates and the coaches. On the flag team we’re constantly trying to get better at what we do and our relationships with each other reflect our dedication and passion for the sport. Flag has pushed me to improve who I am as a person and athlete that I have not experienced with another sport or activity. I see my coaches and my teammates as family because of the amount of time we spend together and our relationship is strong because we have the same goal that we work towards.

Q:  What advice would you give to a new player unsure if flag is for them?

A:  Just try it. In the offseason, flag practices are open to anyone who wants to try it out and I can say, from personal experience, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The worst that could happen is finding out that flag isn’t necessarily for you, but finding out that flag is for you completely outweighs any doubts. Trying out flag could be the best decision you ever made or something you tried out but felt as though it wasn’t for you. Nothing bad could come out from trying flag. You might be able to find a new addition to who you consider family when you do.


CAPTAIN: Emma Smithson

POSITION: Quarterback


Q: Why did you choose to join Robinson flag?

A: I decided to join flag because I had done a clinic with a few girls that were on the team and Coach Mimbs when I was in elementary school and I played flag in middle school. I had been experimenting with other sports for a while and none of them felt like a great fit for me or got me really excited about playing them until I found flag football. I saw that the Robinson team offered so much more than just playing time, but also friendships and a support system that I hadn’t experienced in my previous teams or sports.

QWhat is your favorite flag memory? On the field and off the field...

A: My favorite memory on the field would have to be the 2022 state championship game because of the decision that the coaches made on how to end the game, running on the field to celebrating after the win, and then taking pictures with my teammates after the game. Off the field my favorite memories would be all of the meals that we spent with our team and Alonso in Oregon because we got to connect and bond so much through our shared experiences on twi nationally recognized flag football teams.

Q: In your opinion, what makes flag unique from other sports and activities?

A: Flag football is incredibly unique because of the opportunity it provides girls to play football. We aren’t just playing to win but we’re playing to prove to ourselves and other that football isn’t just for boys. We are also held to a very high standard as we are expected to be great students and people both on and off the field. The community and support that this flag team provides is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced because everyone respects and welcomes each other. The connections I have made through this program with my teammates, coaches, players from other teams, and even individuals who work for Nike and the Buccaneers are incredibly unique.

Q: What advice would you give to a new player unsure if flag is for them?

A: Put aside your fears and nervousness and just try it out. It’s pretty intimidating coming out and experimenting with a team where the expectations and intensity level are so high but it is so worth it to be able to say “I’m on the Robinson flag team”. You’ll never have to worry that you won’t be welcomed or will too confused about how to play the sport because you’ll probably be met with an overwhelming amount of support and players trying to welcome you. Playing flag football for Robinson has been one of the best experiences of my life and it all started with me coming out in the summer as an incoming freshman and just trying it out.


CAPTAIN: Haidyn Spano

POSITION:  Quarterback, Cornerback


Q: Why did you choose to join Robinson Flag?

A: I was at a volleyball conditioning practice and Coach Saunders came up to me and asked if I wanted to try out Robinson Flag Football. I remember hearing about it and decided to give it a try. Little did I know I was going to find amazing friendships, opportunities, and a million memories made. Joining flag was one of the best decisions I could’ve made for my high school career. 

Q: What is your favorite flag memory? On the field and off the field...

A:  My favorite flag memory would be our trip to Oregon for the 2023 Nike Kickoff Classic. We played a 40 minute game against Alonso. That was my first Varsity game as starting QB as a sophomore, and it was on TV! I was incredibly nervous, but with the help of my teammates and coaches we pulled it together with a 12-6 win! Although I’m overly competitive and love the intensity of the game, off the field was where the best memories are made. On that trip I got to travel across the country with all of my friends and have the time of my life! My favorite moment in that trip was when a little girl and her dad came over to ask us about flag football and that’s when I knew how important what we were doing was in representing the young girls in the world, showing them that they can achieve anything they work hard enough at! 

Q: In your opinion, what makes flag unique from other sports and activities?

A: Flag football, especially at Robinson, is unique because of #theway we do things. Being a part of Robinson Flag is an honor as it pushes you to be better both on and off the field. This program has created an environment filled with great culture, support, and people that have yours and the team’s best interest at heart. You will never find another program like Robinson Flag! 

Q: What advice would you give to a new player unsure if flag is for them?

A: Do it! There is nothing else like it and you’d be missing out on all the opportunities and people it presents if you don’t. Reaching out of your comfort zone is the best possible thing you can do for yourself! Who knows? First, you decide to join… next thing you know, it’s your obsession!  

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