Tackle football is no longer just for the guys, as proved by the ladies of the New York Knockout Football Team. A member of the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL), NY Knockout is a powerhouse of fierce women ages 18+ from all backgrounds and lifestyles, of all shapes and sizes, and hailing from around and far beyond the Capital District to play one of America’s favorite pastime the way it’s meant to be played: helmet-to-helmet full-on contact. No offense, but this ain’t your powderpuff sorority!
With football season set to begin just a couple of days away–the annual kickoff is scheduled for September 10th between the defending Superbowl XLIX champs New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers–it was only appropriate to do a story on NY Knockout as a reminder that women can play football too, and play it really well!
Headed by Melissa Messemer who is also a League Delegate and player for the team, this Schenectady-based all-female football squad ended their last season victoriously, winning the National 8’s Division Championship against the North Carolina Cape Fear Thunder, 28-0.
And they’re ready to do it again and are looking for kick-ass women to add to their roster! If you love the sport and want to celebrate it more than just observing from the stands, your opportunity to do so is here! Tryouts to play in the upcoming season will be held on Saturday, September 19th, from 11:00AM to 1:00PM at Schenectady High School.
Although having game knowledge and being superfit makes you a standout candidate, it is not a requirement. The Knockout’s all-star coaching staff will teach you the rules of the game, and train you to be the best player you can be. You’ll become a pro even before season begins.
Aside from being 18+ in age (17 to practice, with parental consent) and, of course, female, what it truly takes to become a Knockout player is dedication to the team. “Our team functions like your second family,” Melissa told us. “It’s important for us to spend time practicing, training, and doing team activities (like fundraising and community service) together off the field to build relationships and camaraderie helpful to our performance on the field. We are involved in each other’s lives like crazy! We are always supporting each other, that’s why we’re such a good team!”
The other benefits of becoming an NY Knockout? “Aside from friendships with likeminded women and the obvious physical and mental health benefits of football practice and training on and off-season–players get sponsored gym memberships,” Melissa continued, “The support you receive from your teammates and the community is very empowering. It’s a great confidence builder!”
Season is 10-weeks long, from April thru June with a total of 8 games and 2 bye weeks. Practice occurs on Saturday nights on an indoor turf until the weather gets nice for some outdoor playtime, with team workouts one night a week.
For more information about NY Knockout, check out www.NYKnockoutFootball.com. For information about the Independent Women’s Football League, including team rosters, rules, sponsorship opportunities and how you can (and why you should) start your own all-women football team, please visit www.IWFLSports.com.