Women can play pro football too

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By Regina Jimenez

Rushing (Robert Rawlings)

By Regina Jimenez

Women? Football? Professionals? These are probably the first thoughts that come to mind when we hear about the National Women’s Football Association.

Six years ago, the NWFA was formed by Catherine Masters who is known as a sports and entertainment entrepreneur. The Sport started out with two teams which included the Alabama Renegades and the Nashville Dream.

But in May 2004, the Orange County Breakers were formed and are determined to inform women of the National Women’s Football Association, so that those who are interested will think about trying out.

“We just want to inform women who enjoy the game of football to come and try-out for the Orange County Breakers,” said owner Tanya Bilezikjian.

Bilezikjian, who has been the owner of the team for only six months, holds high expectations for the Orange County Breakers. Last year, she was a player for the Breakers and now she has what it takes to take on the responsibility as an owner.

“Playing football and being the owner at the same time was definitely beneficial for me,” she said.

“Just being able to be successful as a team was a reward in itself, but also getting the opportunity to own the team is a great learning experience for me.”

When Bilezikjian first heard about the NWFA she couldn’t stop thinking about it.

“I heard about the league a few years ago. I thought about it more and more, and I just knew I had to do it,” she said.

The Breakers head coach, Lori Flinn, wants to let women know and consider this league because it is a big opportunity to be able to be part of something special and unique that women do not necessarily have experience in.

“If football is something you are thinking about and want to do, go for it!” Flinn said. “Last season’s team had little or no experience when they first came to try-outs, so you don’t need experience but you do need to have some type of athletic ability or aspects, and you do need to be aggressive in all that we do on the field.”

Many women think that they don’t have the experience or knowledge to be on the team, but the truth is, they don’t need any.

“Last year it was a 100% rookie year for the Breakers. Every single person came to the try-outs with no experience,” Flinn said. “During the practices we start off by showing the girls the basics of football so that they understand what each position does.”

In the game of football you have to be not only aggressive, but you have you have to be open to learning things fast.

“Football is just as much mental as it is physical,” said Flinn.

Coach Flinn enjoys coaching the NWFA because it’s such a great experience for her.

“It’s great doing something brand new and it’s just a great opportunity for women,” she said.

When asked about the most interesting thing about the women on the football team, Flinn said “It’s just amazing how different these women are; almost every one of them have a different career. One of my players is a doctor, the other is a secretary, and we even have a lawyer on the team.”

Any women interested in trying out for the National Women’s Football Association and who want more information may go online to the Breakers web site and find out about all the try-out info.

“We have our own website (www.ocbreakersfootball.com), that girls can look at and find out anything they need to know about this league,” Flinn said.

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