CALVERT COUNTY, Md. – Since Alyssa Linkous was just eight-years-old, she has been obsessed with the game of flag football.
Alyssa, who is originally from Calvert County and is an alumni of Northern High School, started playing flag football by attending her brother’s practices and joining in on the fun. Alyssa, along with her brother and dad, would also play in the backyard after school.
Now a 21-year-old, Alyssa currently attends Ottawa University and plays for the school’s team as a Wide Receiver and Center. Ottawa has won back to back national championships, and they are looking to make it a three-peat this season.
Alyssa has also been chosen to represent the United States in the 2023 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Americas Continental Flag Football Championship, which will take place from July 5-7 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The tournament will bring the best talent from North and South America together. Alyssa is the only player from either the men’s and women’s roster representing Maryland.
Even with all of the success, Alyssa still enjoys the family atmosphere that the game brings the most.
“My favorite part of the game is building friendships that last a lifetime. This sport brings so many people together,” Alyssa told TheBayNet.com. “I love having a family within the sport. No matter what school, club, or team you play for, we all want the same thing and accept everyone.”
Aside from her college team, Alyssa and her dad have even started an all-girls flag football team called Dream.
“We called it Dream because I want these girls to know that this can be their dream now,” Alyssa explained. “We currently travel the U.S. and since creating one team last year, we currently have three different age groups. We are growing this organization so fast.”
Alyssa then went on to explain the meteoric rise of women’s flag football.
“Women’s flag football is growing faster than anyone could imagine,” Alyssa stated. “We are talking about having women’s flag football in the Olympics in 2028. That push to get it there is amazing. There are colleges offering scholarships for women to play flag football. High schools all over the US are starting to add this sport.”
Alyssa’s future goals involving flag football is to one day hopefully play for the Olympics, if they add the game. Alyssa also wants to help grow the game and have the sport available all throughout high school one day.
Outside of flag football, Alyssa is currently studying sports leadership as she looks to become a coach. She also wants to be a role model for younger girls.
Alyssa even has a message for all the girls who want to play football.
“Never let anyone tell you, you can’t do something. Chase your dreams and never stop.”
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