This past year alone has provided a plethora of difficulties and hardships. COVID's unbreakable grasp has limited many from pursuing their passions this year. From postponing seasons to shutting down multiple schools, this impalpable ruler has produced great negativity. However, senior Arielle Zane takes a stand and sheds light on such a dark situation. While refusing to let her senior year go to waste, Arielle fulfills a longtime dream here at Ramapo High School.
Football at Ramapo is treasured and beloved amongst many of the students. From attending MetLife to going undefeated, this sport holds significant meaning to the school and its title. Yet, considering it's an all-male sport, many are left to spectate from the bleachers-or in this case, from their living rooms.
Throughout Arielle's childhood, she's participated in various flag football leagues and was inspired to share such interests with her classmates. Taking action, Arielle brought her proposal to Mr. Anello, Ramapo's Athletic Director, and together, they began taking steps to establish this new team. Arielle reveals, "I only made the decision to come to Mr. Anello about it right before the quarantine [...] I went into his office shortly before the pandemic and told him I wanted to start a flag football team. I had written notes about how I would do this, and he let me present them." She's worked alongside the school for over a year to bring this idea to life. Coincidentally, Mr. Anello was pursuing this exact idea. Similar to Arielle, Mr. Anello had participated in flag football leagues throughout his youth. As a result, Ramapo's new sports addition made its debut.
On National Girls and Women in Sports Day of this year, the New York Jets and Nike announced the beginning of our new high school flag football organization. Along with Ramapo, several high schools consisting of: East Orange Campus, Indian Hills High School, Irvington High school, Malcolm X Shabazz High School, Passaic County Technical Institute, and William L. Dickinson High School have also been selected to participate according to the New York Jets. In an interview, Arielle states, "This opportunity is more revolutionary for our culture than people realize, and it's honestly just a huge win for all of the girls." This new-founded league has become a symbol of both women's empowerment and equality throughout the school environment, its purpose is to build confidence, determination, teambuilding, and leadership traits for young females while unlocking doors for them to discover new passions and interests.
As of right now, Mrs. Shemon and Arielle Zane run the Ramapo Flag Football team. Although this team is still considered a 'club,' its long-term goal is to be annexed into the high school spring sports curriculum. If interested, you can join the group on Schoology for more information and updates or email Mrs. Shemon or Arielle Zane with any questions.