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Team aims for football state title without prom distraction

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You'll have to forgive Miramar (Fla.) High for feeling slightly aggrieved that the Patriots don't have a 2010 state football championship. That sense of disappointment might seem displaced when you consider the fact that Miramar's football team fell in the state's regional semifinals in November, a full three victories short of a state title. The trick is that the boys football team isn't the squad entering a season feeling as if it has something to prove.

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Miramar girls flag football program

Miramar girls flag football program

Rather, that distinction falls to Miramar's girls flag football team, which fell in the state semifinals after racking up a perfect regular season. The team's coach, Damon Codgell, said there was a good reason for his team's 27-0 semifinal loss to Alonso (Fla.) High, too: The game was played just hours after the Miramar prom, with many of the Miramar players arriving at their semifinal game still wearing their prom night makeup and nails.

"Never seen a game like that before," Codgell told the Miami Herald. "It was almost ugly from the start."

To counteract a second spate of state playoff ugliness, Codgell exerted significant force on the school's spring planning committee, insisting that the senior prom not be held on the same weekend as a state playoff game. He succeeded, and now he and his team are confident that they can fulfill on the program's unfinished promise from the 2010 season.

Florida is the only state in the country to host an official girls flag football competition, while the sport is played at the club level in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and a handful of other states. The Florida High School Activities Association has sanctioned flag football in each of the past 10 years, holding a state championship tournament each year since 2003.

Miramar has yet to capture that crown, despite being one of the longest-running programs in the state. It felt last year provided a perfect opening to break through that barrier, before the prom got in the way.

Now, Codgell and his program are trying to rapidly incorporate youthful talent to replace a squad that was dominated by senior starters.

"We had so many four-year players last year, I rarely had to call the offense," Codgell told the Herald. "This year, I'm going to be shouting out more calls and plays."

Calling more plays won't be such a bad thing, provided the players executing them aren't sporting two or three-inch nails.

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