IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — When Irondequoit senior, Ella Missell, first heard that flag football was coming to Section V, she didn’t take it seriously.

“I thought that it was just like a rumor or a joke,” Missell said.

But then she found it was real and told her parents about it and they were all in.

“They’re big Buffalo Bills fans,” Missell said. “My brother played football, my younger brothers play flag football. So they were really excited for me to be able to play football too.”

The inaugural girls flag football season will begin this week with eight teams in Section V participating. This past weekend, the Bills hosted a training camp that allowed the girls to scrimmage other teams from the Buffalo area.

“Buffalo was amazing,” said Irondequoit coach Ranita Williams. “The girls were all smiles and laughing. We got to meet a couple Buffalo Bills players. It was just a fun time and an engaging time. I feel like all teams walked away learning something and learning how to better themselves as a team.”

Coach Williams said that she hopes that the stigma around girls playing football changes and that this motivates little girls all around the country to chase their dreams.

“Hopefully we get to a point that flag football is on the same level as college sports,” Williams said. “That girls could walk away and get scholarships for it. That young ladies could really take this and go far with it.”

Ella didn’t mince words about what she learned about playing football so far.

“Just to like ignore the haters,” Missell said. “There’s definitely some people making fun about this sport and thinking that it’s a joke, but it’s actually really fun.”