Imagine a day when you’re watching vicious tackles and 60 yard touchdown runs on television — by women. Well, that day might not be so far away.
The Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) is a women’s tackle football league comprised of 62 teams across the nation, including four in Florida. The four teams are the Miami Fury, Jacksonville Dixie Blues, Tampa Bay Pirates and the Palm Beach Punishers.
Head Coach of the Palm Beach Punishers, Scott Jurasz, said his sister-in-law asked him to help coach the team four years ago. He started out as the special teams coordinator, moved to defensive coordinator, and then became head coach in his second season with the team.
In addition to being head coach, Jurasz is a firefighter, father of two girls and a husband. Despite his many responsibilities, Jurasz said coaching the players has been a rewarding experience and he truly enjoys seeing the players grow and develop on the field.
“[The best part of coaching this team is] the overall challenge of teaching someone a game that most of them have always loved but were never given the opportunity to play as a kid or through high school. And then seeing them learn and progress into a football player,” said Jurasz.
Linebacker Dani Moody is the captain of the Punishers and was voted team MVP last season. Moody hopes that women’s tackle football will be televised in the future to inspire little girls who want to play, and to remove the stereotype that tackle football is only for men.
“[Playing this sport] means I get to break the mold. I’m lucky enough to explore an unconventional passion, [and] I get to lead the way for future female athletes. When I started women’s football almost 12 years ago, my only hope was to chase a dream. As I’ve grown up with this as a huge part of my life, my hopes have greatly changed. I hope that we leave our mark on the future of women’s sports. I hope that we open up a world of opportunity for athletes everywhere and prove that passions don’t have to be gender specific,” said Moody.
Any woman over the age of 18 can join the team and no previous experience is needed. Tryouts began on Sept. 24, but interested persons can contact Scott Jurasz at email@example.com or by visiting their website, www.palmbeachpunishers.com.