TAMPA, Fla. - Sitting down to watch a girl's high school flag football game years ago would’ve seemed unimaginable and impossible.
For the Alonso Ravens and Robinson Knights, the impossible is now their reality.
"At this point, I don't think there’s anything bigger," said Alonso head coach Matt Hernandez. "Who knows what happens in the future? At this point, though, I think we've reached a new benchmark."
That benchmark is a spot in the Nike Kickoff Classic on August 26.
Soon the Ravens and Knights will fly out to Nike World Headquarters in Oregon to play in a game televised on NFL Network.
Girls on the Alonso and Robinson High Schools flag football team are playing against each other on national television.
To the players getting this chance, it’s a dream come true.
"You're able to share that experience and treasure it. You get to cherish it," said Alonso senior linebacker Sadie Bode.
It is, however, ironic that two teams that play each other so often and are located so close to one another will now fly 3,000 miles to play a game.
But with a combined nine state championships between the two programs, their games have become battles each team looks forward to.
"I enjoy playing them," shared Robinson senior wide receiver Katejion Robinson. "We see our friends because we play them so much and we know each other now."
Girls on the Alonso and Robinson High Schools flag football team are gaining national attention.
With the two teams being separated by less than 15 miles, it’s no wonder why, even as rivals, the Ravens and Knights have become friends off the field, too.
And if it seems strange to have two teams from the same city across the nation together, the Knights and Ravens wouldn’t have it any other way.
"It's very comforting to know that we're just playing them," stated Robinson’s sophomore quarterback Haidyn Spano. "And it's fun and takes stress off of you because we're playing our friends."
What is at stake in this game, however, goes beyond wins and losses.
Alonso and Robinson High School girls flag football teams are playing in the Nike Kickoff Classic on August 26.
For most football fans, this might be the first time they see a girl's flag football game on national television.
"I think these opportunities and these groups, these powerful groups, putting their support behind it, legitimize (the sport)," said Hernandez.
That fact isn’t lost on either team, also.
"I think the girls understand that they’re not just representing Robinson, or Alonso, or even Hillsborough County, or even the state of Florida," explained Robinson head coach Josh Saunders. "They’re trying to represent girls everywhere. I mean, the sport is exploding."
And that explosion landed the Robinson Knights and Alonso Ravens a date on national television on August 26.