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UIL Introduces Womens Football As Recognized Sport

The district announces new “Footbelles” team to compete in the upcoming season.
Graphic by Elliot Stimac

In a press release on March 28, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) introduced womens football as a recognized sport for high schools across Texas. 

Upon this announcement, the district introduced the “Footbelles,” a womens football team which will compete against other districts across the state. Football coach Daren Eason was put in charge of leading the Footbelles to success this season. Tryouts will begin in late May.

Womens football will have most of the same rules as mens football in UIL, however the field will be shortened in both width and length to 50 yards by 28 yards, and the time of play will be shortened to four 10-minute quarters for 40 minutes total of playing time.

So far there is no formal schedule for the Footbelles’ fall season, however according to prospective player and captain Scarlet Ouchdown, they have plans for scrimmages to prepare the team.

“Our first scrimmage is against the middle school mens football team on  Sept. 12,” Ouchdown said. “I heard they got some pretty good sixth graders this year, so I’m a little nervous, but I think the Footbelles can do it.”

After being on the soccer team for three years, Ouchdown transitioned to football due to a life changing injury. 

“I used to play soccer and then I took a really bad fall where my face smashed directly against a goal post and actually it took off most of my nose, it just popped right off,” Ouchdown said. “After losing my sense of smell, I just really couldn’t play soccer anymore. It was too traumatic for me to go back onto the field.”

Like Ouchdown, many other students expressed interest in joining the womens football team. Junior Zoe Zaner is excited about the induction of the sport within the district.

“I think it’s really important that we have equal opportunities in sports,” Zaner said. “To break ground in a traditionally male sport is a crucial step for a just environment for all students.”

 In order to have a full team ready to go, Eason said he recruited from the womens soccer team due to his admiration for their athleticism and how the skills correlate to football.

“I’ve always been a guy that’s been fond of womens sports,” Eason said. “I look at the soccer games, especially the World Cup, and I see the women doing just a phenomenal job. They’ve done way better than the mens league.”

Eason described excitement regarding the shift in attitude from a mens to womens team.

“You know, girls are much better. Boys, you gotta yell at them, you gotta tell them things like three or four times before they get it,” Eason said. “Girls, you don’t have to yell at them, they understand what you asked them to do right away.”

Eason said he looks forward to the future of women in football.

“I’m thrilled to see the excitement and joy of the girls doing something for the very first time,” Eason said. “I’m so thankful that the UIL has passed this along and I’m just so grateful to be a part of it.”


About the Contributor
Juliana Stimac
Juliana Stimac, News editor
What are you looking forward to on the staff this year? I’m excited to work with reporters on news stories this year! Who are your favorite music artists? Fiona Apple, the Arctic Monkeys, and The Neighborhood What causes are you passionate about? I’m really passionate about women’s issues and healthcare