Yeniah Matos Delgado shines in flag football
Yeniah Matos Delgado is a finalist for the NFL Latino Youth Honors
Mexican flag football star Diana Flores appeared in the National Football League’s first commercial dedicated to youth and women’s flag football during last year’s Super Bowl telecast. This year Yeniah Matos Delgado will scramble and blitz her way to Las Vegas to participate in various events tied to the Super Bowl.
Delgado is representing the Chicago Bears as one of the eight finalists for the inaugural NFL Latino Youth Honors.
This honor recognizes outstanding Latino high school tackle and flag football athletes from around the country for their academic and athletic excellence. The NFL will announce the winner during Super Bowl weekend.
“It’s an honor,” Yeniah Matos Delgado said. “I wouldn’t be here without my family, friends and coaches.”
Yeniah Matos Delgado leads
According to the NFL Football Operations, around 474,000 young women between the ages of 6 and 17 played flag football in the United States in 2022. Participation grew 63% from 2019.
Flag Football will officially be included in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Men and women will show their skills and compete for a medal. Yeniah Matos Delgado could become a potential “medalist” in the future.
The young Boricua was always active in sports growing up. However, she loved playing football more than any other sport. She played both offense and defense on her girl’s flag football team at Morton East High in Cicero, Ill.
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She was the starting quarterback and threw for nine touchdowns. Defensively, she starred at linebacker. Yeniah Matos Delgado led Morton East in interceptions with five. She was named the Morton East High MVP.
Matos Delgado likes playing on both sides of the ball. Her preference shifts from game to game, she says, depending on the competition.
Defensive and offensive star
“I like playing both offense and defense, but just doing whatever I can to help the team win,” she says.
Delgado moved to Cicero with her family at four years old from her hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico. She believes it’s important for her to carry her roots and keep the traditions alive.
“In June, we head to Humboldt Park for the Puerto Rican Day Parade,” Matos Delgado said. “We go and celebrate our culture and wave our tiny Puerto Rico flags. It’s very cool to be a part of.”
Delgado, 17, is graduating from Morton East High School this upcoming spring and holds a 3.6 GPA in her class. She has yet to decide which university to attend, but she was confident in choosing business as her major.
Yeniah Matos Delgado’s mother, Yahaira, received her college diploma back home in Puerto Rico. Even though her mother received her diploma, Yeniah will become the first of three siblings to attend college.
When Yeniah’s not working on homework or practicing on the football field, she enjoys spending her time off making bracelets. The future entrepreneur creates and sports her circular bead bracelets everyday.
She’ll also make more bracelets for some of her friends to wear. Academics are paramount for her, though.
“I’d like to major in business,” Yeniah said. “Being academically successful is very important to me. I want to be in charge and maybe handle my own business one day.”
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