Olivia Ackerson - 12 Sports Athlete of the Week

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 11:38 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WBNG) - Flag football is just in its second season in the Southern Tier, but for Binghamton senior quarterback Olivia Ackerson it looks like she’s been playing for her whole life.

“She just makes plays. I tell people she just makes plays that I didn’t coach. She just goes out there and reacts to the situation and it makes her so difficult to defend,” said Binghamton head coach Vaughn Labor.

“My mindset is definitely, know who’s on the field, and give the ball to the right person at that play and just let them go from there,” added Olivia.

Olivia grew up in a football family with older brothers that played, which has given her an advanced understanding of the game.

“My family is a big football family and my brothers played so I used to go to their games. It’s just kind of cool getting to play the sport that they played and being better than them at it,” explained Olivia.

“She’s been learning where to throw and reading defenses and figuring out if that girl does this then I can do that instead,” said Labor.

It’s what led the Patriots to win the first-ever Section IV flag football title last year where they then played the winner of Section I during the halftime of a New York Giants preseason game.

“It was crazy. It was really scary in the moment like we were all freaking out. We didn’t really know what to do. When we were playing in it our minds were just going so crazy. It was just an amazing feeling,” said Olivia.

Now Binghamton is one of the best teams in the area again, and they’re looking for another Section title, because going back to back is just how Olivia wants to end her high school career.

“It would mean a lot to me to end on a winning season on a winning note, winning the championship. We won it in basketball but I would love to have another one too,” said Olivia.

A second title would establish the Patriots as the dominant program in the area, and that’s just the legacy Olivia wants to leave.