By Dana Zillgitt, Regular Contributor
Whenever someone mentions Utah, the first thing that comes to mind definitely isn’t a tackle football league for preteen girls, which is quite possibly I’m so excited that it’s actually happening. What’s even better? Spots on the team filled up in ONLY 5 days, which caught both directors-Brent Gordon (Sam’s father) and Crystal Sacco, off guard. Gordon went on to say “To be honest, I was nervous how many girls would sign up” and then went on to say that “The best part was hearing from parents who approached me to tell me how grateful they were that we started this league…that’s what this league is all about: fulfilling the dreams of girls who want to play football”.
So how did this all get started? Aren’t preteen girls too fragile to be playing tackle football anyway? And isn’t football a boy’s sport? False, on all accounts.
Sam Gordon, a local 12 year old who’s already got a highlight reel of her talent, a Super Bowl invitation, and her very own Wheaties box cameo, just wanted to play football with her friends. And she collaborated with Sacco to get the word out.
But how will the league work? There are four teams to keep costs low at the beginning as well as three games planned already with hopes for more.
But what about the dangers? All of the possible concussions and injuries? That’s top priority for the directors as well as the league. They’re requiring each coach to pass USA Football certification on how to respond and recognize concussions as quickly as possible. Additionally, they are training them on a type of blocking and tackling known as “head up,” which is said to make the game that much safer.
So while we continue on the tooting their horn train, Sacco is hoping that the league will “serve as an inspiration and model for similar girls tackle football leagues across the nation”. And I can’t think of a better time, place, or group of people to be leading this movement head on. Now let the best team win.
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Dana has her BA in International Affairs & Spanish as well as a mild obsession with rescue animals and all things caffeinated. She’s mastered the art of the selfie, fort building, and even the sass battle. Plus, she can quote 95% of Anchorman and Zoolander.
image via sportshawaii.com