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4 things we saw at the 12th annual Capital City Classic flag football tournament



The largest high school flag football tournament in the state was in full swing this weekend as teams from across Florida made their way to the FSU Rec Sportsplex for the 12th annual Capital City Classic. For over a decade, the tournament has stood as a measuring stick for who the best teams in the state are and offers the opportunity to face competition from out of their regular area.

10 Big Bend programs made the short trip out to the southwest side, competing in all seven brackets from the gold division to junior varsity silver. With so much action happening in a little under 24 hours, here are three things we saw from area teams.

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Chiles putting depth to the test

The depth and resiliency of Chiles were put to the test Saturday afternoon. Its large senior class got back to Tallahassee at 4 a.m. after grad bash celebrations the night before. In addition, head coach Stan Goldstein had suffered a concussion the day before, seeing assistant coach Justin Kurlander take over.

The stipulations didn’t limit the Timberwolves as they went on to upset No. 5 Choctawhatchee, 20-18, in its first game of the day. Outside of the fact that Chiles is an older team, it’s one that’s driven to win coming off a district championship season and Goldstein’s last as head coach.

“We’re more ready for what’s to come,” Kurlander said. “We took a loss early in the season against a team that was completely different from last year that made our girls think nobody on our schedule is going to let us win. The girls are doing a good job of overcoming things. Coach Goldstein has been in and out of the hospital this week and you can tell that’s been hard cause the girls love him. For these situations, we’re a lot better.”

The effort this year has been led off by seniors Lindsey Myrick and Maddie Hougland. Myrick owns 333 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on the year. Hougland has locked down on both sides of the ball, throwing for 707 yards and 14 touchdowns, and recording 16 pulls.

The receiver/quarterback duo has anchored Chiles’s offensive dominance, which can be attributed to the pair’s relationship off the field as well.

“We’re friends on and off the field, which helps a lot with our chemistry,” Myrick said. “We’ve been playing for three years now. Me and her can make eye contact on the field I know what she’s going to do and she knows what I’m going to do. I think that just helps with our execution.”

The foot doesn’t come off the gas when the tournament is over as Chiles faces Lincoln on Tuesday. As the regular season nears a close, and in title defense, the Timberwolves are looking to go all the way this spring, winning a state title and avenging last season’s regional semifinal loss to Pace.

“We want to get that state title for sure,” Myrick said. “Last year, we went all the way through districts, got that championship, and lost in the second round of regionals to Pace. Pace is in our district now so I think the big thing is that we want to get that revenge and that we can win that state title.”

Lincoln jumping out as top team in 1A

While Lincoln’s first game of the Capital City Classic wasn’t ideal, falling to Spurce Creek 24-7 and suffering its first loss of the season, it had a sound response on Saturday. Being the only Big Bend team in the gold bracket, the Trojans bounced back, defeating Trinity Catholic, 26-19, and Fort Pierce, 12-6. Having tighter games, and getting pushed around a bit, is why Lincoln attends this tournament every season.

“We are the only team from Tallahassee that has won the Gold Bracket in the Capital City Classic,” head coach Brandon Youmans said. “We pride ourselves. We want to represent Leon County Schools to the best of our abilities. Being able to play the best teams around the state shows the hard work that we’ve done moving forward this season and shows that we can play with the best.”

Lincoln jetted out to a 6-0 start to the season, impressively defeating Jefferson County, 62-0, FAMU DRS, 34-0, and Wakulla, 42-6, entering the tournament. The Trojans have peaked as high as No. 1 in the FHSAA 1A poll this season. Its play has been paced by senior Sanija Waller, who has dominated the backfield at quarterback. Youmans credits Lincoln’s deep roster to its early-season success.

“We’ve got a good group of seniors and girls that have played for the last couple of years,” Youmans said. “Our quarterback Sanija Waller, junior wide receiver Delaney Knowles, Faith Durden, and senior Keila Hernandez. We’re all doing a great job and they’ve played a lot of flag football. Early in the season, it shows that we have experience and we’re able to play fast.”

FAMU DRS enters rebuilding phase with a younger group

While Lincoln and Chiles are seeing upticks in their programs, FAMU DRS is hitting the rest button. After graduating a large senior class, which included two-time All-Big Bend Player of the Year, Ameari Logan, and a bulk of the 2021 state runner-up team, the Baby Rattlers are going back to the basics in development.

FAMU DRS fell to Plam Ridge, 13-6, on Friday before getting edged out by Sumner, 6-0, and losing to Niceville, 25-0, to finish the tournament. The Baby Rattlers sit at 3-3 overall, facing Jefferson County and Rickards next week. While there is a focus to win, FAMU DRS wants to keep growing and find its identity when it matters the most.

“We’re trying to find our identity and that’s the only thing we’re trying to do,” head coach James Brown said. “Tournaments like this help us out. It’s not always about winning, but what the product is at the end. We’re hoping to develop our product as it was last year and the year before. We want to see what we can do with that.”

Florida High wins Silver B bracket

Florida High was one of the big winners on the weekend, winning the Silver B bracket. It defeated Tarpon Springs, 13-7 to open up play on Friday. On Saturday, it edged out Niceville, 14-12, before blanking Sumner, 20-0, to win the bracket. The wins bump the Seminoles to 10-4 on the year heading into a big matchup against Suwannee on Tuesday.

Jack Williams covers prep sports and Florida State athletics for Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at or on Twitter @jackgwilliams. 

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