Yes… that’s right. I played semi-professional women’s full-tackle football for four years. “Semi-Pro” in this context means you didn’t have to pay to play — we weren’t bringing in a paycheck, we just had sponsors and owners who paid for everything (well, sometimes better than others).

I started my career with the Denton Stampede, a new expansion team for the NWFL (National Women’s Football League)’s 2004 season. I went to a practice on a Thursday, and by that weekend (because they had low roster numbers) I was the starting center and also played about 70% of the defensive plays without even a clue as to what I was doing. But I was in pads and excited to be there! It was an amazing experience to play football and one I will never forget. The Stampede was rather painful, getting stomped each and every game, but I met some amazing people and worked my butt off.

Denton Stampede 2004

My first practice, no idea what I'm doing

My first practice, no idea what I’m doing

early huddle

early huddle

Trying to snap

Trying to snap

Learning how to play center

Learning how to play center

DSCN1494

DSCN1498

Still smiling

Still smiling

Coming off the field at the end of the game

Coming off the field at the end of the game

Happy after my first game, before the hurt sets in

Happy after my first game, before the hurt sets in

showing my mean game face with Sandy

showing my mean game face with Sandy

Dawn and I after my first game

Dawn and I after my first game

Post-football bruises

Post-football bruises