Superintendent’s Spotlight: Brianna Brookins & Alyssa Sarlo


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Brianna Brookins & Alyssa Sarlo

March 12, 2024

Brianna Brookins and Alyssa Sarlo, as members of a regional travel flag football team, had a unique opportunity to attend the NFL Pro Bowl Games and compete in a national flag football tournament in February in Orlando as part of the NFL-sponsored program.

The team – named Old Skewl and based in Middletown – played in the 17U Girls Division and won the NFL FLAG Washington Commanders Regional Tournament in October to qualify for the national tournament at the Pro Bowl. Old Skewl won two of three games on the first day, but, unfortunately, lost on the second day of the tournament during single elimination. The loss allowed them to time to do some site-seeing before attending the Pro Bowl event. Brianna and her mother went to Epcot Theme Park and Alyssa and her parents went to SeaWorld Orlando.

Brianna, a senior, and Alyssa, a junior, are also cornerstones of the Wildcats flag football team. Flag football is now a scholastic sport in New York State, and the team will play its second season this spring. Warwick defeated Pine Bush in the inaugural Section IX Girls Flag Football Championship Game last May, and both Alyssa and Brianna were a big part of the team’s charge in sectionals and the final championship victory.

Warwick overcame a 14-0 deficit to earn a 27-20 win. Alyssa threw four touchdown passes and Brianna caught one touchdown. The Lady Wildcats went into the sectionals seeded eighth out of 12 teams, beating Minisink Valley and Monroe-Woodbury before topping Pine Bush in the championship.

The players play multiple positions in the 7 vs. 7 league. Alyssa is the team’s starting quarterback, but also plays wide receiver and running back as well as some defense as a blitzer.

“I play wherever they need me,” Alyssa said. “But I play more offense than I do defense.”

Brianna said she plays wide receiver and running back on her travel team, and running back, wide receiver and safety for the school team. And, she blitzes on defense for both teams.

What made them join flag football? Finally having the opportunity to play a sport that has been dominated by boys.

“I always wanted to play football, and now that they’ve brought a team for girls and the outlet for girls to play football, I wanted to be one of the first people to join it,” Brianna said.

“It’s pretty much the same for me too,” Alyssa said. “Growing up, with my dad we’d always play catch outside, and I grew up watching football, so I’ve always wanted to play. But, I knew I couldn’t since it was a guy’s sport. So, I was interested knowing that it was girls and it was just a great opportunity for me.”

In addition to Alyssa and Brianna, the travel team was comprised of two players from Middletown, four from Pine Bush and one from Minisink Valley.

In addition to the football teams, Brianna also plays varsity basketball in winter, runs in varsity track in spring and taekwondo. Alyssa plays varsity tennis in the fall and varsity softball in the spring.

Brianna hasn’t chosen a college to attend next year, but she intends to major in nursing and is interested in becoming a neonatal nurse. “I’ve always loved babies and anything I can do to help others is just like the main thing for me,” she said. She also likes Spanish and wants to use the additional language working with patients in her career.

Alyssa is still looking at colleges that she will apply to, but she knows that she wants to work in radiology, “specializing in like some form of cancer radiology.” She attributes her interest in the field to experiencing her grandmother having cancer. “Just seeing her go through that just made me interested in wanting to help other people and their families who are going through it.”


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