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Why I Play Football… and Why You Should Too: Adrienne Wilson

There’s a lot to learn in the world of women’s football. Why do we play? What are some of the fun things we do as football players? How is our sport evolving, and (honestly) where does it need to evolve more?

We took some time with one of our longest tenured vets, Adrienne Wilson, to find out the real answers to these questions and more. And since she’ll be returning for her 10th season at tryouts this Saturday, she’s the perfect candidate to ask.

It also doesn’t hurt that she’s earned All American and Team USA honors in the past as WR 😉

WHY DID YOU FIRST START PLAYING FOOTBALL… AND WHAT’s KEPT YOU PLAYING FOR 10 years?

“I first joined football after a teammate and friend from college said I should come watch one of her football games… I ended up trying out the next year and got hooked.

I keep playing because I love being involved in a sport where you’re constantly able to learn and get better, regardless of how many years you’ve played.”

 

Got any pre- or post-game rituals?

Pre-game rituals… Man, I think I’ve had a few over the years… I think I’ve cut them all out for the most part. Post-game ritual is a giant Negra Modelo at Azteca. That ritual works for a win or for a loss.

Adrienne-Wilson-GamedayIN YOUR opinion, what area has women’s football grown the most?

Recognition. More and more people are finding out that there are women’s leagues, even our fan page on Facebook has grown by quite a bit over the last few years.

What area does it need to grow more?

I’d say the consistency in the level of play. Too many divisions have 60 or more to 0 blowouts and that isn’t benefiting either side or women’s football in general.

What’s the hardest technique you’ve had to master as a wide receiver?

Getting in and out of breaks quickly. I thought I was pretty decent when I first started football until I really began watching my breaks on film. I wasn’t impressed, haha.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ROOKIES THINKING ABOUT TRYING OUT?

Just go for it. Joining football was one of the best decisions I ever made.

TRYOUTS INFO

Tryouts are this Saturday at Cal Anderson Park in Seattle, WA, from 10 AM to 1 PM (but make sure you show up at least 15 minutes early!). You can find all tryouts info on our web page here. Make sure you register for tryouts- if you’re a rookie, tryouts cost $10 that you can pay online or in person with cash this Saturday.

In addition, feel free to ask questions and find more info on our Facebook event. Ask a question in the event page- chances are, a player or coach will answer you within 5 minutes.

Can’t wait to see you on the field this Saturday!

Dani-DeGroot-Quarterback-Seattle-Majestics

Dani DeGroot: An Australian’s Take on Playing American Women’s Football

This year we invited an Australian football player, Dani DeGroot, to come play football with us here in Seattle.

Dani (#3 if you’re watching tomorrow’s game) plays quarterback and is great at moving around in the pocket & running with the ball.

When asking our head coach, Scott McCarron, about Dani, he told us this:

“Dani’s really impressive with the mental side of the game. I don’t have to describe why we are doing something offensively or what we’re trying to do. She could tell me right away what the concept of a play was, and I haven’t had that in a player yet.”

As an organization, we are striving to give more international players the opportunity to come play football here in the US.

We’re so happy we were able to make that happen this year for Dani.

Check out our 1 on 1 interview with Dani below… talking American football, Australian beers, and more.

WHAT ARE THE CORE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FOOTBALL IN AUSTRALIA AND FOOTBALL IN THE US?

“One of the biggest differences is the experience and knowledge of all the players & coaching staff. You can really tell when you’re out there at practice or in a game.

Dani-DeGroot-and-head-coach-womens-footballFrom everyone’s reaction times being quicker in picking up plays during a rep… to the pace and confidence of what they do, everything is 10 steps above back home.

And just the amount of knowledge the coaches hold and share is incredible.”

WHAT’S IT BEEN LIKE LIVING IN SEATTLE (BOTH THE GOOD AND THE BAD)?

It’s been great! I’ve felt very welcomed as soon as I got here from the team and the amazing family that has opened their home to me. Seattle is a great city with amazing surroundings.Dani-at-football-game-with-friends

I love driving around on a clear day and seeing the mountains topped with snow, especially Mount Rainier in the distance!

If I had to say something that’s been not so great, it would only be that the rain seemed to stay longer this year.

WHY DO YOU PLAY FOOTBALL?

I play women’s football because it gives me a feeling that no other sport has. It’s such a physical and mental game that challenges me every time I step on the field in practice and games.

I love being able to say, “Yes, I’m a female that plays tackle football.”Dani-DeGroot-rushing-in-pocket-quarterback

JUST TO CLEAR IT UP, DO YOU ALL DRINK FOSTERS IN AUSTRALIA?

Not really, if you want to have a known Australia beer, you have to go with a VB (Victorian Bitter).

SEE DANI AND THE MAJESTICS AT TOMORROW’S GAME

Support Dani by watching the game tomorrow at French Field at 6 PM. You can find all the game info & buy tickets by visiting our Facebook event.

Remember, we can’t spread awareness of our team and mission without you. So invite your friends and share the event on Facebook.

And if you’re rooting for us in Australia, we’re excited to give you shoutouts from our Facebook Live tomorrow! Visit our Facebook page around 6 PM to tune in.

As always, wish us good luck! And go Majestics.

To learn more about the Seattle Majestics, sign up for our monthly newsletter.

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Why I Coach Women’s Tackle Football: LJ Jennings

We get questions all the time about our coaching staff. Who are they? How do they get involved? Why do they coach women’s football? Do they get paid?

All of our coaches are volunteers. They dedicate anywhere from 10 to 25 hours a week helping players grow, coaching them, watching film, organizing depth charts, and in many cases, volunteering at team events as well.

We took the time to sit down with one of our coaches in particular, LJ Jennings. LJ is the defensive coordinator and primary defensive backs coach. He also acts as our running backs coach as well.

Here’s what LJ has to say about his experience with the Majestics.

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WHY DO YOU COACH WOMEN’S TACKLE FOOTBALL?

“I love the idea of coaching people who may be brand new to the sport and watching them grow. It’s so refreshing to meet players that are so hungry too learn about the game.

They’re always looking for ways to get better and improve. With men, a lot of times it become monotonous and the passion isn’t there. Here they wanna play- it’s a lot of fun.”

What makes a good football player?

Coaches-Womens-Football

“Someone who is coachable (humble), pushes themselves, and demands the players around them to do the same.

You want players who self-motivate. If you have players like that with a motor to play, you’ll always have a chance.”

What inspires you to do better and better every day?

“The players inspire me to do better. I wanna be able to help them where I can and watch them succeed. When you have players that really want to learn, it’s infectious and gives you energy.”

Interested in coaching or volunteering with the Majestics?

Fill out our contact form or send an email to our head coach, Scott McCarron, at scott@theseattlemajestics.com.
Come out to the game this Saturday, May 27, 2017 and watch us in action! After the game, you can talk to the players and coaches more about playing or coaching for the Majestics.
Ashley-McCray-Why-I-Play-Womens-Tackle-Football

Why I Play Women’s Tackle Football: Ashley McCray

Why do we give up to 20 hours a week in addition to our regular jobs and family lives to play a sport we don’t get paid to play?

Why do we risk injury, give up hours of sleep, give up our lives, to dig our hands into the dirt and play tackle football?

WR & DB Ashley McCray, 2-year veteran of the Majestics and a registered nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital in the Emergency Department, articulates it better than just about anyone.

ASHLEY, WHY DO YOU PLAY TACKLE FOOTBALL?

3 things: drive, passion and a sense of belonging. Football not only challenges me physically, but mentally and emotionally.

It continuously pushes me to be positive and to take care of my body and mind.

I am inspired and driven to become more than just a better athlete, but also a better teammate, friend, and family member.WR-Ashley-McCray-and-Majestics-at-Pride-Parade

Being a football player, has given me a passion that is set apart from other things I have done in life. It provides a constant rush and lights a fire within me to push harder and be better each time I step on the field.

“The field feels like home. The team is my family and I really feel like this is where I belong.”

WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO BE THE BEST YOU?

Aside from football, I would say just my own personal progress in life inspires me to do better and better every day.

WR-Ashley-McCray-receiver-catchI’ve become healthier. I have established amazing relationships and even strengthened existing ones.

Also, just seeing how the women’s football league has progressed and made waves is motivating.

When I tell younger athletes or even adults that I play, most of the reactions I receive are incredible. They admire the fact that women suit up and hit and play like the men do.

Also, knowing we are role models for the younger girls who aspire to play, is moving and inspiring in itself.

OUT OF ALL THE POSITIONS YOU PLAY, WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?

I would say it’s a tie between Safety and Special teams. Both can be huge in changing a game and shifting the momentum. It keeps everyone fired up when these things happen and it feels amazing.

WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE?

Troy Polamalu. On and off the field, he is classy and a great role model. Unfortunately he is retired, but he was so much fun to watch on the field.

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Photo credit: fansided.com

He was fast, hard hitting, and all over the place making crazy, big plays! There’s a funny saying I saw on the internet about him that explains it perfectly “They say 70% of Earth is covered by water and the other 30% is covered by Polamalu.

SUPPORT ASHLEY & HER FOOTBALL FAMILY

Come out to our last regular season home game against the Everett Reign on May 27 at 6 PM! You can get tickets at the gate or online right here.

As a women’s football team, we rely on fans like you to invite as many of your friends as you can to come out and support our team. We need you, Seattle!

If you’d like to hear more of these player stories or receive our monthly newsletter, subscribe to our email list here.

Can’t wait to see you on 5/27!

Until next time, Majestics fans.

Ashley-McCray-and-Mykaleen-Hiura-womens-football

Womens-National-Team-McKenzie-Tolliver

McKenzie Tolliver Makes USA Football Women’s National Team

Update: You can now support McKenzie Tolliver in representing the United States in women’s tackle football in Canada this year. Donate Now!

Majestics fans, we have some exciting news! One of our defensive backs, McKenzie Tolliver, made the USA Football Women’s National Team.

The team consists of 45 players nationwide that will compete against teams of countries around the world in the Women’s World Championship.

The championship takes place in Canada this year, and we couldn’t be more honored to have one of our own make the team.

So let’s talk to McKenzie, a receiver, safety, and mom of 2, that is coming up on her 3rd year playing for the WFA and your Majestics.

Why did you want to try out for Team USA?

I wanted to challenge myself and see if I was capable of playing at the national level. I love to compete and love being around elite athletes.

What have you done over the years to prepare for tryouts for team USA?

Since I am only starting my third season, I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect and prepare for. I tried to compare training and competing in my other sports over the years as a guide.
I was very diligent about working out and getting in shape off season by doing cardio, strength, field and agility work.

 

The most important thing I focused on was knowledge of the game so I could be prepared mentally for whatever defense strategy, schemes and ideas were thrown at me. My coaches and teammates helped me significantly in preparation and have always been very knowledgeable and supportive.

Were you nervous during tryouts?

I definitely had good nervous energy at tryouts. I have been able to teach myself through competing several years at the national level in other sports to use my adrenaline and nervous energy to my advantage.

 

It’s also very important to understand that when you walk onto the field for tryouts, you can only control the here and now. All the work is done at that point, so you have to trust yourself and the work you have put in, let go and just play ball.

You were a D1 athlete in college for swimming. Why football?

I have always wanted to play football.. It has always been my “true love” in sports.

 

WWFG-DBs-Julia-McComas-McKenzie-Tolliver
I started swimming when I was 8 years old and happened to be good at it, so that was the sport that I pursued. The difficulty with swimming is that you don’t have much time for other sports, as we train morning and night 5-6 days a week, all year long.

 

Once I graduated from WSU and had my children, I realized that it was time to start competing again and it worked out perfectly that there was a high level women’s football league. I enjoyed swimming and playing soccer, but have never loved those sports the way I do football.

 

What other athletic goals do you have for the future?

My goal with football was to make team USA. I would also like to win a championship title with the Majestics. Once I am done playing football in the next few years, I would like to do cross fit and work my way up to compete on a high level as well.

 

In the next 10 years, by the time I am 40, I would like to complete an ironman, a marathon and compete in Master’s Nationals as a swimmer.

 

What do you do in your free time?

For hobbies, I like to play and watch sports. I also like to travel, read, and spend time with my kids, family & friends. I love doing art and DIY projects (especially during the holidays) too.

 

OTHER Fun Facts about McKenzie:

  • Born and Raised in Billings, MT
  • Works as a regional property manager specializing in low income & affordable housing

    McKenzie-defensive-back-and-kids-family
    McKenzie with husband and 2 children
  • Married with two kids, Asher (4 yrs old) and Aaliyah (5 yrs old)
  • How she gives back: volunteers with several non-profit agencies to house homeless families
  • Sports played: swimming, soccer, and dance for 10 years (tap & hip-hop)
  • Started swimming on the national level at 12; won various regional gold medals in various events as an age group swimmer (ages 10-18).
  • Holds several state records in Montana for swimming in multiple age groups
  • On all-time top 10 list at Washington State University for several swimming events

 

Want to support McKenzie and the Majestics?

You can support McKenzie and help her get to Canada by donating here to her crowdfunding campaign!
You can purchase season tickets today right here. In addition, please share this feature on McKenzie to support both her and her teammates. To have a player on Team USA is an incredible honor, and we want the world to know about it.
Until next time, Go Majestics!
To hear more about the Majestics, sign up to get our monthly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

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Why I Coach Women’s Pro Tackle Football: Head Coach Scott McCarron

You’ve already heard from our players and why they play the game, from us, from our partners at espnW, The Nation, and now Crosscut (who recently created one of the best articles the sport of women’s football has seen).

But what about our coaches? What motivates them to coach women’s football?

Here’s our behind-the-scenes interview with Head Coach Scott McCarron.

WHY DO YOU COACH WOMEN’S PRO FOOTBALL? 

For me, it’s because I love the game of football so much. I want the women to see the passion and love I have for it, get energized about it the same way I do, and hopefully have that translate in their play on the field.

I love coaching and teaching the game to players that are so excited to soak up every little bit of info they can. Sometimes, it can be a balancing act between giving too much information or giving too little, but the hunger these women show to learn the game is what motivates me to continue coaching them.

What do you enjoy most about coaching?  

In terms of what I love the most about coaching, it’s the chess match of the game itself. Being able to show players the nuances about the game that make it so great. But, it’s also the relationships you build with those players and the family-type relationships I have with the coaching staff that are the coolest part about it.

Seeing players develop so quickly over a short period of time and seeing our young coaches grow into leaders of their own is another great part about the job. It’s really special to be a part of this.

Seeing players develop so quickly…and seeing our young coaches grow into leaders… It’s really special to be a part of this.

coach-scott-huddle-womens-football

What do you see for the future of women’s football?

What’s great about the development of the game is that people around the local area are starting to take notice of us as an organization. We’re seeing it more nationally as well with the Women’s World Football Games having taken place down in New Orleans at the Saints facility this year. 

We aren’t far from these players being paid and games being broadcast regularly. It’s going to take people motivated to do it for the right reasons, but we are at a very powerful moment in this sport, and the needle is pointing up.

How have you evolved as a coach?

When I first started coaching football I really didn’t know much about the game. I thought I did, but it involved more screaming and yelling versus actually coaching. Ha ha ha!

Now, I’ve become a student of the game and understand that my role is as a teacher to our players and staff. I allow our players to not be afraid to make mistakes because they know I will stick by them and use those moments as teaching moments.

I’ve also had to learn how to teach in different ways. Some players want me to yell at them, some need me to pull them aside and explain the why’s, and some are visual learners.

It’s finding ways to do all 3 things at one time so that we create the best learning environment for our players.

WHEN’S OUR NEXT GAME?

Our next game is this Saturday, May 7, away against the Everett Reign at Everett Memorial Stadium (7621 Beverly Ln, Everett, WA). The next home game is our final regular season game on June 4 against the Portland Fighting Shockwave.

Want to support the majestics?

There’s loads of ways to support our players and our organization.

  1. Donate to our crowdfunding campaign on Tilt.
  2. Buy tickets to our last regular season home game. You can buy tickets online here! 
  3. Become a sponsor. We’ll promote you on all of our social media pages, website, and more.
  4. Spread the word! Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and share our content. Most of all, we’re looking to grow awareness and enthusiasm for our sport.

That’s it for now, Majestics fans. In the meantime, go check out our latest YouTube highlights from last Saturday’s big win against the Southern Oregon Lady Renegades.

Why I Play Women’s Football: McKenzie Tolliver

WHY I PLAY Women’s tackle football: #80 MCKENZIE TOLLIVER [TE, SS] 

We sat down with McKenzie Tolliver, who had 5 interceptions last year, 1 of which was a pick-six. McKenzie is also an asset manager/developer for GMD Development in Seattle, and a happily married mother of 2 kids. After talking with her and hearing what drives her to play football, we’re guessing she’s gotta be one of the coolest moms out there.

WHY DO YOU PLAY FOOTBALL?

I play football because I have longed to play football since I was a little girl. I also love the fulfillment of playing a sport predominately and notoriously played by men and being able to not only break gender stereotypes, but show that women can play football at a high level too. Whether its football or any other sport they want to play, I want to pave the way for young athletes by showing them that all they need to do is set their mind to WHATEVER they want to do in life not just athletically but in other facets of life, as well.

“The most important thing for me is being a role model to young girls in America and paving the way for young athletes by showing them that they can do WHATEVER they put their mind to…anything is possible.”

What is your favorite part about playing for the Majestics?

My favorite part about playing for the Majestics is being around a group of women who are all fierce competitors in their own way. I love being around a group of athletes who value character, dedication, and determination. In order to play women’s tackle football, you have to be fierce, competitive, and willing to step out of your comfort zone each and every day.

 

10474314_10152818203195738_709505850545742388_n
McKenzie running after catching 1 of her 5 interceptions last season

 

What has football done for you?

Football has helped me achieve a great balance in my life while competing at a high level. It has helped me balance competitiveness, fitness, work, and being a mom, wife, and friend. The need to compete runs deep for me, and not having competition in my life makes me off-centered. It has also given me the opportunity to (again) compete in an area that many girls feel is impossible to compete in.

If you could speak in front of a group of middle school athletes, what would you say?

I would tell them that inner strength and growth really come from life’s struggles. Most people who have been given everything don’t understand true work ethic and aren’t incentivized to understand the real values of life. Remember that the ever so striving and hardworking excel in many ways. Character lays the foundation in the people we are destined to become. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Never give up and never give in. Success is not measured simply by what you’ve accomplished, but what you’ve encountered and had the courage to overcome.

One of my favorite quotes is “whether you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you are right.” The power of the mind is an incredible power. Stay positive and stay focused. Don’t let obstacles get in the way of your dream. Use them as a resource on your path to achieving your dreams. And never give up because you will fail over and over again before you succeed.

Want to Support McKenzie and the Majestics this season?

2016 Season Tickets Are Now On Sale! Click the button below. You can also go to McKenzie’s page and pay for season tickets under her name, which will go directly to her player’s fees that cover field costs, refs, and the like. One thing’s for sure, you won’t want to miss McKenzie playing in the season opener on April 2 vs. the Everett Reign! Get your tickets now.

2016 Majestics Schedule
All games are played at French Field at Kent-Meridian High School: 10020 SE 256th St, Kent, WA 98030

Purchase your season tickets ($40) using the form below

 

 

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#GivingTuesday – How You can Support the Seattle Majestics

Last week on December 1st was #GivingTuesday, a new global day for giving back. Luckily, any day can be #GivingTuesday when your favorite women’s tackle football team is a 501c3 non-profit! We’re working hard to spread women’s tackle football all over the world and empower women to be stronger than ever before. You can help support this mission in a few ways:

  1. Use our Amazon Smile link when you do your Christmas shopping. A portion of the proceeds for your purchases will go to The Seattle Majestics.Screenshot 2015-12-07 10.27.47
  2. Purchase Season Tickets as a Christmas Gift for your favorite player. Each season ticket purchase made in a player’s name will go directly to their player’s fees, which cover field rentals, uniforms, travel, etc. Just pick your favorite player from the roster and purchase season tickets from their player page. You can also buy season tickets from the team that will go to the general team fund.
  3. Sponsor the Seattle Majestics! We rely on a lot of support from our fans and community to have a successful season. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.
  4. Make a $10 (or more) tax-deductible donation to the Majestics. The Seattle Majestics are a non-profit 501c3 organization and can accept donations.

    [buy-now-form terms=”$10 Donation to the Seattle Majestics” description=”$10 Donation to the Seattle Majestics” price=”10.00″ return_url=”https://theseattlemajestics.com/thank-you” cancel_url=”https://theseattlemajestics.com” livemode=”true” sale_notice_emails=”rebecca@theseattlemajestics.com, karlek@theseattlemajestics.com,shannon@theseattlemajestics.com” button=”Donate Now” currency=”USD” mailchimp=”true” mailchimp_list_id=”4b4d9b6c36″ mailchimp_apikey=”03c2e0bca48f9af2fec59a015d9d8edc-us1″ mailchimp_message=”Stay up-to-date with the Seattle Majestics” ]Dear {$first_name}, Thank you for donating to the Seattle Majestics! We greatly appreciate your support. Please save this email for your records. Donation Date: {$txn_date} Amount: {$txn_price} Description: {$txn_desc} Please email Karlek@theseattlemajestics.com if you have any questions. Thank you, The Seattle Majestics[/buy-now-form]

We will have other fundraising opportunities to announce very soon! If you’d like to hear about them first, please subscribe to our email list.



For Female Football Players, It’s Pay to Play (and Pray Someone Sees)

The Seattle Majestics were featured in an article on The Nation today.

On a drizzling day last winter, Rebecca Samuelson drove from her job at Redfin, a technology startup in Seattle, about an hour south to a high-school football field in the city of Kent. When she arrived, it had already been dark for at least an hour. She quickly changed and headed out to the field to practice alongside the other 30-some members of the Seattle Majestics, a full-contact, 11-on-11 women’s football team. There, she and the rest of the Majestics ran drills, practiced plays, and otherwise prepared for their season, which takes place each spring. She got home around 10:30 or 11 pm, sore and bleeding, and went to bed, mentally preparing to face not only another full day at the office, but also the gym, practice, fundraisers, and any other team-required activities the next day.

And she paid for the pleasure to do so.

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