List of female American football players

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The following is a list of notable female American football players who have either played for predominantly men's American football teams at the youth, high school, college, or semi-professional levels, played in the Legends Football League, or played in traditional women's tackle football leagues such as the Women's Football Alliance, Independent Women's Football League, and Women's Spring Football League. Notable women who presently play or have previously played American football are included on this list.

Female football players[edit]

In predominantly men's leagues[edit]

Almost all of the women who have played on predominantly male college and professional football teams have done so by playing either the placekicker or holder positions.[1] Both positions are usually protected from the full contact present in American football.

Youth[edit]

  • Kathryn Barriere: Defensive tackle for Cumberland Jr. Clippers in Cumberland, RI 2015-2017. Started playing tackle football in 6th grade. Plans to continue in high school.
  • Heather Nixon : defensive and offensive tackle for Jax Beach Fl. Hurricanes. Youth Rec. while captain of the cheerleading squad at her middle school. (Also grew up to be her son's Assistant Coach 4th grade Tackle Football Team in Texas)
  • Angela Cochran: Nose Guard and Left End, Highland Hills Junior Football League, Colorado—Kansas City Chiefs. 1970s.
  • Sarah Crispin: Starting Middle Linebacker, Ridley Middle School, Pennsylvania. Started playing tackle football at the age of 7. U.S. national football team hopeful.[2]
  • Mandy Davis: Starting running back and middle linebacker, Pleasant Grove Middle School, Alabama. Started playing in 7th grade for the first time.[3]
  • Sam Gordon: Running back, Salt Lake City. Her play in a youth football league[4] led to her becoming the first female football player featured on a Wheaties box.[5]
  • Angelica Richards: Starting offensive tackle, Austin Road Middle School, Georgia. Started playing 7th grade for the first time.[6]
  • Kiilani De La Cerna: Running Back, Thousand Oaks Titans. Recipient of Anthony C. Melia Courage Award. Will play for Westlake High School.
  • Amir Bond:As a Captain played Running Back, Quarter Back, Defensive end, and Line Backer for the Decatur Jfl from 3rd grade - 7th grade. She is now currently playing for the Eisenhower Panthers at her high school.
  • Alyssa Minnick: Started playing flag football at age 7 for Frankton youth football league in Frankton, Indiana. Played tackle football for Lawrence Township Football league on their traveling team the "Mini Bears" in 2013. Continued on to play middle school football for Belzer Middle School as a starting offensive lineman in sixth, seventh and eighth grade (2014, 2015,& 2016). She is now currently playing on the freshman football team at Lawrence Central High School where she continues to be an offensive lineman and has played in all three of their season opener games, McCutcheon, Bishop Chatard, & Lawrence North.

High school[edit]

  • Beth Bates, a Williamsburg,_Kentucky High school junior in 1982, became the first woman in Kentucky to score in a high school football game, kicking five extra points.[7]
  • Xitlaly Fregoso: Plays guard on varsity football team
  • Noela moreno JV 2-year starter Varsity status going on 3rd year (Right guard)(Senior) Guymon highschool, Guymon Ok
  • Heather Lindsay 1995 JV 1-year Back-up kicker and Special teams RBHS Rancho Bernardo , CA
  • Savana Melton (Varsity Kicker-Sophomore,Junior,and Senior): North Little Rock, Arkansas, High School 7A - 2nd highest scorer 2015 (56 points); 2016 (89 points). 42 yard Field Goal at Conway High School 2016. First girl to play and score in a 7A State Championship game 2016. First female to be selected to All Arkansas Preps and ArkansasVarsity football teams 2016. Arkansas Activities Association Record Book: Consecutive Extra Points Career (leader with 68) and Miscellaneous - first female to play and score in a state championship game 2016. Leading scorer freshman through junior seasons in varsity soccer and selected to All Arkansas Preps for soccer 2016. All Conference in Soccer and Track. http://www.hudl.com/profile/5561854/savana-melton http://members.ahsaa.org/public/userfiles/Media/recordbook1617.pdf
  • Heather Darrow: In 1986, Darrow became the first female athlete in the state of Tennessee to score a point in a high school football game.[8]
  • Salma "Sheba" Alsheba: Female football player in the state of Oregon. Offense: Wide Receiver. Defense: Corner Back. Salma is on the Sunset high school Freshman Football team. Her second year playing football. Salma is also a basketball player for Sunset's JVII team as a point guard.
  • Sherry Worrell was the first female to play Quarterback in Arizona for Palo Verde High School in Tucson Arizona., 1992. Sherry helped lead her to team to a record breaking 86-0 against their opponent. Worrell went on to coach kids football, played for The Tucson Monsoon Women's Football Team and is the Owner of the Arizona She Devils Women's Football Team.
  • Samantha "Sami" Grisafe: First girl in California to play quarterback in a Varsity Division I High School Football game in 2000 at Redlands High School. Named captain of Redland's High School's Freshman Football Team in 1999. Inducted into the Redlands High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014 for her accomplishments in Varsity Football, Softball, and Volleyball.[9][10]
  • Brooke Liebsch: Started playing on all boys tackle teams in 2009, and became Liberty (Missouri) North High School's first female quarterback in 2015.[11] Recently lettered in football her Sophomore year. First female to make it to the U.S. National Development Games in Arlington Texas, July 2016.[12] March 2017 at the age of 16 registered with the WFA Women's Football Alliance. 2017 Rookie starting quarterback for the KC Titans Women's team. First year playing she took her team to the first round of the playoffs. She also understands her role and knows that a lot of little girls look up to her for what she does, and she consciously takes time to encourage & motivate them. This year will be her second year attending the KC Chiefs Play 60 Event for the Girl Scouts.
  • Wanda Ballou: First girl in Ohio to play boy's JV & Varsity High School football 1989-1991. Wanda was starting wide receiver and Safety. At 5'7 and 130lbs, she was fast with great hand skills, a force to be reckoned with.[13]
  • Erin DiMeglio: First female quarterback to see play in Florida high school football history[14]
  • Theresa Dion: First female to play on a boys high school varsity team in the U.S. when she played for Immaculate High School in Key West, in 1972, as a placekicker.[15]
  • Anastasia Hooker: First female in Indian River County, Florida to score a point or points in a High School Football game. During the Sharks JV team's October 9, 2014 game, Anastasia, No. 9, kicked a 24-yard field goal on her first attempt. She also was the 1st to score a varsity point by converting a PAT. The 17-year-old junior was named "Offensive Player of the Year" as a Freshman on the school's Varsity soccer team and plays travel soccer for the Brevard Soccer Alliance U-18 State Cup team.[16]
  • Trevion Borders: First female to play freshman football for Klein Oak high School in Houston, Texas.[17]
  • Tami Maida: Junior varsity quarterback at Philomath High School in Philomath, Oregon. In 1981, she became the first known quarterback to also become homecoming princess, and her story was the basis of the CBS movie Quarterback Princess starring Helen Hunt as Maida.
  • Holley Mangold: Played high school football as an offensive lineman; younger sister of NFL offensive lineman Nick Mangold. She also competed as a weightlifter in the 2012 Summer Olympics
  • Holly Neher gained notoriety in 2017 for being the first female in the state of Flordia to throw a 45-yard touchdown in a high school game, a feat she accomplished on her first pass play and third total play.[18]
  • Maya Ochoa: Freshman wide receiver and safety at Creekview High School in Carrollton, Texas.[19]
  • Evonnie Ramos: first Sophomore female to play JV football as a Left guard and special teams in Fort Stockton, Texas (Pecos County) 2015.[20]
  • Luverne "Toad" Wise: Kicker for the Atmore (now Escambia County) Alabama High School Blue Devils in 1939 and 1940, first female to score in an American football game.[21]
  • Jessica "Lil' Bulldog" Schultz: Fifteen year old, 4'11", female sophomore played fullback, outside linebacker, and special teams, with the male varsity team for Jellico, TN, Blue Devils. She scored the first rushing touchdown by a female in 1998. Jellico v. Williamsburg.[22]
  • Becca Longo, kicker who became the first woman to earn a college football scholarship to an NCAA school at the Division II level or higher and signed a letter of intent with Adams State University.[23]
  • Anna Zerilli: First female freshman kicker to play and score at the Varsity level in American History. Started kicking for Manchester-Essex High School, MA in 2015 and is currently playing for them. First female football player in North Shore and Cape Ann History. (Information founded by Cape Ann Kicking Academy)

College[edit]

Semi-professional[edit]

In predominantly women's leagues[edit]

Players in traditional ("full pads") tackle football leagues[edit]

Other notable women in football[edit]

Coaches[edit]

Commentators[edit]

  • Erin Andrews: FOX Sports reporter for NFL[54]
  • Jane Chastain: First woman to provide color commentary for a National Football League game
  • Robin Roberts: ESPN commentator and reporter
  • Beth Mowins: ESPN college football and NFL play-by-play announcer
  • Gayle Sierens: First woman to call play-by-play for a National Football League game
  • Pam Ward: First woman to call play-by-play for a nationally televised college football game

Front office staff[edit]

Owners[edit]

On a per capita basis, women have somewhat greater representation in professional football's ownership than in other fields; this is in part due to widows and daughters of deceased owners receiving NFL teams as part of an inheritance.

Referees[edit]

  • Sarah Thomas: First permanent game official in professional football (UFL 2009, NFL 2015)
  • Shannon Eastin: First woman to officiate an NFL game (2012)

Fictional[edit]

As an additional supplement to the list, noteworthy fictional appearances of women in football are provided.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Wolfe, Jeff (September 29, 2013). "Gridiron Girl: Ridley's Sarah Crispin tackles fear, stereotypes to shine on the football field". Delaware County Daily Times. 
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  12. ^ "Brooke Liebsch shows she has what it... - U.S. National Football Team". Facebook.com. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  13. ^ "1989 Press Photo Wanda Ballou female football player at Brookside HS | eBay". Ebay.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
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External links[edit]