Crenshaw senior Dechelle Brackett competes on the girls flag football and track teams (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Crenshaw senior Dechelle Brackett is a dual-sport athlete, competing in flag football and track. She is the captain of the Cougars girls flag football team.

Crenshaw’s team was one of the original teams in the League of Champions, a high school flag football league created by the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers. Brackett has been with the team since its inception and got a chance to compete in the League of Champions Super Bowl tournament in January.

“They were working on it the first season so it was basically just building up to this point and getting the sport to go further out and so it can be an actual in-school sport,” she said. “I’m glad that they’re doing stuff like this, I feel like this should have been done a long time ago.”

Brackett noticed her own improvements in her game and that of her teammates since they began playing. She noted how people assume that girls should not play football.

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“They think that football is not a sport for girls and they leave us out, but it’s actually really fun,” Brackett said. “We can do that as well.”

In track and field, Brackett competes in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m, and 4x400m. She noted how competing in sprints helped her with flag football.

“The speed that I have from track, it helps me get a touchdown easily in the game,” Brackett said. “All I really needed was certain moves or certain juke skills for me to move and that helps. I add that with my speed, and it just works.”

Being captain of the flag football team taught her how to communicate and support her teammates.

“I learned how to work with people, work with my teammates,” Brackett said. “I learned how to be a leader by just talking to all of them one-by-one if they have a certain issue.”

Being a Student Athlete helps Brackett stay motivated in succeeding in academics. Her favorite classes are art and science.

“It’s a lot of work but the sports, that’s the one thing that motivates me a lot, so that keeps me going,” Brackett said. “I try to make my parents proud … so I try to balance out both.”

Brackett helped the Cougars reach a 10-0 record in flag football, they experienced their first loss of the season during the Super Bowl.

“That was our first time feeling that feeling,” she said. “We were just rushing a lot and under a lot of pressure.”

Brackett also helped the 4x100m relay team to the CIF State Championships last season.

“We got second place but I’m trying to make it again in my 100m individually,” she said. “I’m just basically trying to go higher than I was last time.”

Outside of academics and athletics, Brackett enjoys painting, doing nails, and cooking. She aspires to represent Team USA in track and field for the Olympics. Brackett also wants to compete in flag football on the collegiate level.

“I want to go to college, but I’ve been thinking about going to college for flag football,” she said. “I want to wait for it to become an in-school sport in college so I can be playing in college because I really love this sport a lot.”