BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With the Ravens season now in full swing, there’s another purple and black team still gearing up to start their season.
Monique Griego has more on the Baltimore Nighthawks, a women’s full contact football team.
The training is rigorous. While stamina and strength don’t hurt, when it comes to being a female football player, passion comes first.
A former college athlete, Lil Drumgold needed a way to stay active and competitive.
“One of my friends told me about a women’s football team. I was like, `Hey, let’s do it,'” she said.
Drumgold is now the quarterback for the Baltimore Nighthawks, a full contact women’s professional football team.
Tanya Bryan started the Nighthawks in 2007.
“Full contact is exactly how it sounds. This is not two-hand touch. This is full on, hard-hitting tackle football,” Bryan said.
Bryan said she knew there were women who wanted to play and was more than ready to break the stereotype that they couldn’t.
“We have that same competitor edge–if not more–than the boys,” said linebacker Tia Watkins.
Off the field, Watkins is a loan officer and mother of two. For her, football is an outlet.
“I get that helmet on and my visor. It’s like a different person; it’s like female Ray Lewis. I’m in my zone; I’m mad [and] want to hit somebody,” she said.
“There are some people you wouldn’t expect that play women’s football that come out here and they’re the most gritty women on the team,” Drumgold said.
From teachers to lawyers, police officers, engineers and doctors—while all these women play hard, being on this team means cheering hard, too. Because by the time the season starts, they’ll share a bond more like sisters.
“We come from all walks of life and the same thing unites us,” Watkins said. “And that’s football.”
The team will spend the next six months in intense conditioning and training before their season starts in April.
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