Gianna Pacitti, Spanish River Jr. – Sun Sentinel
Gianna Pacitti had an outsized impact on Spain’s River Flag football program, and in 2022 she had a record-breaking junior season, leading the Sharks to the state’s last four for the first time in club history. school.
Pacitti had a school-best 5,009 yards, 75 touchdowns, and completed 74% of his passes. She carried the Sharks to 18 wins, the school’s second consecutive district championship and a regional title.
Pacitti stepped in as a signalman for the first time in a shortened season in his freshman year after the team’s starter was sidelined. Since then, she’s had 154 touchdowns in 45 career college starts. She surpassed her own season record this year after throwing 71 touchdowns in her second campaign.
Pacitti recalled a playoff loss to Seminole Ridge last year and how she wanted her team to reach the next level. Spanish River has beaten Seminole Ridge in both meetings this season, including the regional semifinal.
“We were closed during regionals last year,” Pacitti said. “It was exciting when we were able to beat Seminole Ridge because it took hard work and showed how much we’ve improved. It really gave us the confidence that we can reach the States.
After Spanish River defeated Park Vista in the Regional Finals, they put on a strong performance in the National Semi-Finals. Pacitti had three touchdowns in a two-point loss.
“I thought it was amazing the way we played and we led most of the game,” Pacitti said. “We gave them a fight and it was a really good run.”
Pacitti joined the school’s junior varsity basketball program and was encouraged by her teammates to play flag football for the first time with her sister, Alessandra. Pacitti said she was more comfortable throwing football in training than running. She credits Spanish River coach Andrew Immler for his development in the position.
“It really came natural to me, but it also took a lot of practice and hard work,” Pacitti said. “My coach has really helped me with what works best and playing to my strengths and skills. I feel like I’m playing with my friends and it’s like family. pushed me to want to do better.
Pacitti and his sister grew up together playing several competitive sports. Alessandra, who also plays college basketball, played center and safety for the Sharks flag football team this season and led the team at receptions.
“We have a good connection and she knows where she needs to be so I can find her when some of the other options [are] not there,” Pacitti said.
Pacitti will continue to work on his development while playing for the first time with a flag football team during the summer. She is ready for another challenge next season.
“We’re going to miss some amazing players,” Pacitti said. “I’m excited to be working with some of our new receivers who are talented and have a lot of potential.”