MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – When members of the Utah Falconz tell family and friends that they play football, their reaction is usually something like, “You mean soccer?” linebacker Danielle Musick said. “No, tackle football.”
“Tackle football?” said quarterback and wide receiver Sara Galica. “Girls? Like, what?”
“This is real tackle football,” said linebacker KayCee Tanner. “It keeps you going, gives you bruises, battle scars every now and then.”
The Utah Falconz have been by far the best team in the Independent Women’s Football League. They have lost just one game in three seasons, and are a perfect 10-0 this year, outscoring their opponents 443-15.
“I think we treat it how football should be treated,” said Galica. “Organized, disciplined, putting in the hard work. We only practice two times a week, but we watch film and we really work hard.”
These women, which range from ages 20 to 46, are obviously not doing it for the money. In fact, they have to pay to play, some 400 dollars each, which shows just how much they love playing football.
“We’re hungry for it, I feel like,” said Galica. “We’re more hungry, we’re willing to to learn. We’re willing to put in that extra work. We aren’t going to get paid. We aren’t playing for a scholarship. We’re literally playing for the love of the game.”
The sport of women’s tackle football is growing. There’s now a Utah girls tackle football league, and the Falconz have become role models.
“A few girls actually recognize the jersey, and they say, ‘you play on that team!'” said Tanner. “We go out to their games and help teach them up.”
“The girls league is getting more and more teams,” added Musick. “I hear they’re trying to get into the high schools. It’s just great to see that and to know that we kind of helped lay the foundation.”
Last year, the Falconz had to go to North Carolina to win the IWFL title, so to have this year’s title game against the Austin Yellow Jackets in their own backyard at Cottonwood High School is especially exciting.
“A women’s championship game has never been hosted in Utah before,” said Galica. “So this is a a first, and hopefully a first for us to win back-to-back championships.”
“I work at a senior living place,” said Tanner. “We have a 101-year-old coming out. He’s like, ‘women’s football! That’s so great, I’ve got to see this!’ It’s just amazing that they get to experience that here in person.”
Utah will host Austin Saturday night at 7:00 at Cottonwood High.