NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – It’s no powderpuff team. New Mexico’s only, full-contact, women’s football team is trying to expand the sport and they’re looking for women across the state to add to their roster.
“Women’s football has actually been around for a long time but I think a lot of people don’t see it that way. A lot of people think about lingerie football and those kinds of things and don’t think about normal football, that we are able to play normal football, tackle football, with pads,” said Kylee Kipp, a player on the Rio Grande Heat.
The Heat is entering its second season with the Women’s Football Alliance. “For 2020, we will be the only WFA team in the state of New Mexico,” said Brenda Atencio, the Founder of the Rio Grande Heat.
Women from across the state make it a priority to be on the team. “Actually, I live in Las Vegas, New Mexico I drive 100 miles every weekend to play on this team,” said Shannon Delarosbil, a player on the Heat.
However, as great as the solid 16 players on the team are, they need about 15 more. “All of us have to play the entire game and cardio wise, everything wise it’s kind of a lot,” said Kipp.
They’re hoping for dedicated players, with a love for the game, who may have always been too nervous to suit up. “The fact it has been labeled a men’s sport, a lot of women were afraid to take that step,” said Atencio.
Atencio believes that fear is dwindling. “It’s becoming more of a reality for women to come out and play the sport that they love,” said Atencio.
She hopes having a team available to join inspires more women to be brave and join a team that already means so much to so many. “Honestly, it means everything. It makes me feel so alive to be part of this,” said Delarosbil.
For more information on how to join the Heat, click here.