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Effingham County flag football debuts
Hailey Jackson
Hailey Jackson of Effingham County tries to distract Richmond Hill’s quarterback Thursday night. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

RICHMOND HILL — Elodie Lockhart and Josh Mordarski opted to look at the big picture instead of the scoreboard Thursday night.

Even though their flag football team lost its debut 26-6 to Richmond Hill at Henderson Park, the Effingham County coaches said they have plenty to be excited about.

“I think they had a lot of jitters at the beginning,” said Lockhart, the Lady Rebels’ head coach. “I think, if we calm down, we can have a successful year. I really do.”

Even Mordarski, a veteran flag football coach, admitted to being a little rattled.

“I always get a little jittery, especially knowing that none of them had ever played before,” he said. “They were pretty cocky at practice. They would say, ‘We’re ready!’

“I’m glad they felt that way but we weren’t ready.”

Every one of Effingham County’s players is new to the sport.

“This was their first time playing, their first time on a turn field and their first time doing anything, (related to flag football),” Mordarski said. “If you had seen us four weeks ago, you wouldn’t have wanted to talk to us. We have improved a ton.”

Mordarski said many of the Lady Rebels haven’t competed in an organized sport of any kind.

“They are still learning how to be a team,” he said. “Conversations came up like, ‘Why are they cheering and we are over here quiet?’ I said, ‘Well, you’ve got to have something to cheer for first.

“A lot of people don’t understand that we are literally at the ground floor (of building a program).”

Flag football is sanctioned by the Georgia High School Association. Effingham County competes in a region that includes Richmond Hill, Calvary Baptist, Portal and Dodge County.

“Most of the players thought it was powder puff, at first,” Mordarski said. “They didn’t realize it was legit.”

The top moment of Thursday’s game was quarterback Inessa Brackbill scoring the first touchdown in Lady Rebels history. Lockhart and Mordarski are confident many more scores will follow soon.

“I am glad that the first game is over, and we know what to expect,” Lockhart said. 

Effingham County will host Richmond Hill at 4:15 p.m. Thursday at the