Like the Oklahoma City Dolls three decades ago, the Oklahoma City Lightning gives local women the opportunity to play football.
Having appeared in two world championships and earning a 38-6 record in its six-year history, The Lightning kicks off its next season April 21 against Dallas.
“Oklahoma loves a winner. You keep winning, eventually you will get recognized,” said Michael Harris, co-head coach and offensive coordinator. “You keep winning, though, it’ll come.”
The Lightning has maintained a high level of play despite dealing with a high percentage of rookies and averaging only 35 players on the roster.
“I’ve run track my whole life, I’m a champion and I want to be on a winning team,” cornerback Malinda Malone said.
Like many teammates, Malone had not played much football outside of playing around with relatives in the backyard.
“I’m an athlete, but I really need the help of these coaches,” she said. “I was the girl who was asking how they keep on repainting that yellow line, the first down line.”
The oldest player on the team is Monica Hale, who will be taking the field with her 23-year-old daughter, Jessica.
“They call me ‘Moms,’ but I love it,” Hale said. “I just feel if I can come out and do the best I can and at my age, keep up with these girls, then I’ve done my job.” “Charles Martin