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Bad Rabbits: Dominating the Field and Breaking Barriers in Flag Football


The Bad Rabbits flag football team, a group of talented girls from Calexico, California, and Mexicali, Baja California, has been making headlines with their impressive performances in national tournaments. Led by head coach Guillermo Castro and assistant coach Emmanuel Ramirez, these young athletes have shown that girl power knows no bounds when it comes to dominating on the field.

The brainchild behind the team, Eduardo Trujillo and Remsy Contreras, saw a need for more recreational activities in Calexico and decided to form the team. What started as a small group looking to have fun and stay active has grown into a powerhouse team that consistently brings home trophies and accolades from every tournament, they compete in.

The girls, Azul Trujillo, Jessica Manriquez, Madeline Montes, Ana DeCastro, Tamara Montenegro, Sakura Sanchez, Camila Gomez, Lizbeth Ortiz, Valentina Lopez, and Victoria Mendoza, have all played a crucial role in the team’s success. Their ability to work together, communicate effectively, and support each other on and off the field has set them apart from their competitors and earned them a reputation as one of the top flag football teams in the region.

Locally, the team has played in TJ Flag, a league in Tijuana, Baja California, and Tochella Flag Festival.

“This was the first tournament that we won against very experienced and competitive teams. That’s when we knew we could do big things,” Trujillo said. 

In addition, the team has participated in events sponsored by Flag Football Live and NFL Flag. 

“Despite coming from a small population, we have won everything this past year. We won the national championship in Mexico and most recently the NFL Flag Championship in Orlando, Florida,” Trujillo added. 

Despite facing tough competition from teams across the country and beyond, the Bad Rabbits have never backed down from a challenge, showcasing their fierce competitiveness, strategic gameplay, and unwavering team spirit.

The Bad Rabbits’ success is not only a testament to their talent, hard work, and determination but also to the growing popularity and recognition of flag football as a sport. The NFL’s involvement in promoting flag football through NFL FLAG has led to a significant increase in the number of leagues and players, with women making up a fast-growing segment of the sport. The International Olympic Committee’s decision to include flag football in the Los Angeles Summer Games in 2028 further solidifies the sport’s global appeal and reach. Two of the Rabbits, Jessica Manriquez and Azul Trujillo will be participating in USA Football’s Junior International Cup bringing together the best youth flag athletes from across the world including Canada, Japan, Mexico, Panama, and the United States. 

The next step for Trujillo is to one day see a flag football league in the Imperial Valley so the sport can grow and find more talent. 

As the Bad Rabbits continue to represent Imperial Valley and Mexicali on a national and international level, they serve as an inspiration to young athletes everywhere, proving that with passion, dedication, and teamwork, anything is possible if you just believe in your dreams. 

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