The Blaze opens 3rd year of women’s football

Stuart Benjamin, Staff Writer

With football season in full swing, the local women’s tackle football team, Madison Blaze, is getting ready for the upcoming season.  After a loss against Houston this year in their very first playoff game at home, the team is ready to get back to work.

The Blaze, which formed from a few Madison teams that had been falling out, had their first season in 2013, and ended their 2014 season in late July.  Tryouts have begun and practices start in January 2015.

Fayla Grose, who is back for her 2nd season with the Blaze and 8th year overal, says that for her, football has helped her keep active and socialize.  “You’re with women who all love to do the same thing.  So it’s kind of a bonding experience and you’re all here for the same goal.”  She also says that when she was younger, she had to play on boys teams because women’s football wasn’t offered at her school and she feels its important to offer the opportunity to both genders.   “Women need the reassurance that we can do that and we can do it well.”

Briana Geisler, who has been with the team since its first season, says that there may be a lower percentage of girls interested in playing than there are guys but it should be offered to those who are.  “Its just like girls who join the army” she says, “they want to dedicate themselves to something and it’s also a teambuilding activity.”

The team is part of the Independent Women’s Football League and plays teams from across the Midwest, including the Milwaukee based team, the Wisconsin Warriors.  This past season was quite successful for the Blaze; with a record of 5-1, they hosted a playoff game against Houston Energy.  Although they lost to Houston 31-0, they were invited to the IWFL’s Founder’s Bowl where they defeated the Baltimore Blackhawks 31-14.

Receiver coach, Tsusa, says that although they have lost a few players from last year he is excited to see the new ones coming in.  He says one of his goals for the team is “maintaining some of the success but taking the next step to becoming a better team.

The team’s stated mission is “to promote and advance women’s football in a professional manner while sustaining a positive identity” as posted on their website, www.madisonblazefootball.com. To contact the team about coaching and volunteering or to tryout, send an email to [email protected]