Women’s tackle football is back in action
Words by Tysen Romeo
Football is one of the biggest sports in America. You know, the game where two teams run up and down a field that is 120 yards long tackling each other, while they fight over possession of a brown leather ball shaped like almond.
The NFL is the wealthiest professional sports league in the United States. Yet, according to a survey done by Zippia, only 2.55% of football players are women while 97.45% of football players are men. Why are we letting men have all the fun?
A group of individuals saw a need and desire from the community to put a women’s tackle football team in the spotlight, not only in Jacksonville, but in the state of Florida. In 2019, the team was assembled and took on the name the Florida Avengers. Their goal is to be a premier women’s tackle football team in Florida and to build a respectful organization that is highly competitive and provides a place for female athletes to grow.
“I love being part of a team and organization that empowers women to grow and make a positive impact on themselves and within the community,” said middle linebacker Alex Perry.
The team knew that the best place for them to grow was with the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC). With the support of the WNFC, the Florida Avengers are on their way to accomplishing their goals, which helps the team focus on practicing so they have a successful season this year.
Outside linebacker and running back Paige Jones said, “We are the pioneers for many young girls who hope to play women’s tackle football one day and get paid for doing it. We aren’t paid yet, but that is a goal for us who sacrifice our bodies, time and money. We do it for the future and for pure love of the game.”
Perry added, “We want to be role models that if you want to do something you can. It doesn’t matter if it’s for ‘boys’ usually. There really isn’t any such thing anymore. There really aren’t any limits.”
The Florida Avengers’ 2023 season kicks off this month with an away game against the Kansas City Glow April followed by their first home game April 8 against the Tennessee Trojans. Other home games are April 15 vs. the Atlanta Phoenix and April 29 vs. the Washington Prodigy. The Avengers wrap up their regular season in May at Atlanta. The playoffs leak into June, and if they make it to the championship, it will be on June 2. Home games are played at Fletcher High School, and single game tickets are $15 (kids under 10 get in free).
Jones summed up playing for the Avengers this way: “I love playing tackle football because it’s like being in a fight. You get to go to battle with your team. It brings out every emotion. This group has been through hell, and now we’re ready to shock the world together,” and that, “We aren’t trying to take away from men’s tackle football but to only be in addition too.”
The Florida Avengers are always looking for more players too! They hold tryouts in October and November every year, and interested players can register and find out more about the team at floridaavengers.com. The team is also looking for sponsors, volunteers and interns and can be reached at [email protected].