This past weekend Marblehead’s own Mirabel Khan and her teammates competed and won the championship in the 8U Girls Flag Football World Championships at Disney World. Khan’s team, New England Flag Football League Elite (NEFFL Elite), was undefeated in the tournament competing against two Florida teams in Tampa Bay and Hopscotch Mafia and a team from Connecticut.
Khan’s father, Shaun Khan, is the head coach of the team and said he was impressed with the whole experience.
“It was very cool. It was at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Teams all around the country stayed at the all-star hotels so you had kids playing with other kids the whole time,” [Shaun] Khan said. “It was a great atmosphere for the kids. It was a perfect spot.”
Khan said he was amazed by ESPN’s coverage of the tournament. The games were broadcasted on ESPN and it “seemed like you were watching an NFL game with all the replays and angles,” Khan said. There were play-by-play commentators as well.
“The fact they got to be on ESPN and hear their name called was great for them,” Khan said.
Khan joked that if he would have known the detail and quality ESPN was going to use he would have worn something better.
“Everyone loved it. The girls were in the pool for half the time we were down there,” Khan said. “They played three games, then came back and would be in the pool for five hours and then get up the next morning to play again.”
The NEFFL Elite beat the Connecticut Flag Lady Matrix 19-14 in the championship game. Khan is the teams quarterback but also plays receiver.
The two-day event started on Saturday with a round-robin to determine the seeding. The Elite came through the round-robin undefeated including an overtime win against the Lady Matrix which proved to be their first of two encounters. “We faced them again in the final and it’s always tough facing a team twice since they know what to expect the second time around,” Khan said. “The girls were a little concerned about that but they played great in the final.”
In the Championship game, the NEFFL Elite got out to an early start behind a long touchdown run from Jaslynn Lozano to get out to an early 6-0 lead. The next score came behind an Abigal Fay pass to Liliana L’Italien for the one-yard receiving touchdown. That combo would connect again on the conversion to put the NEFFL Elite ahead 13-0 with 40 seconds left in the half.
The NEFFL Elite’s final score came on an outside run by Taylor Jackson who was able to beat the defender to the outside and turn upfield into the endzone to make it 19-0. The Lady Matrix tried to make a comeback behind two late touchdowns but there was not enough time on the clock for a third. The NEFFL Elite held on to win 19-14.
The NEFFL Elite team: