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The Midwest Mountain Lions, a local women’s tackle football team, will take the field at Historic Horlick Field, 1648 N Memorial Dr, on May 21. Their first-ever home opener will kick off at 2 p.m. against the Grand Rapids Tidal Waves. Gates will open at 1 p.m. for spectators.

Thinking about attending? Tickets, which will be sold at the gate, are $10 for adults, $5 for kids (5-17) and college students with ID, and those under 5 years old get in free. If you plan to attend, the Midwest Mountain Lions organization asks that fans bring supply donations for the Women’s Resource Center of Racine County (WRC). The mission of WRC is to provide crisis intervention, advocacy, education, and prevention services for a diverse population of victims or individuals at risk of Domestic Abuse and/or sexual assault.

Credit: Midwest Mountain Lions

Items To Donate

  • Hair products
    • full-size shampoo and conditioner
    • ethnic hair products
  • Kitchen Items
    • dish soap and sponges
    • trash bags
    • hand towels
    • cooking seasonings
    • juice boxes
    • bottled water
    • snacks
    • easy to prepare microwavable foods
  • paper goods
    • paper towels
    • toilet paper
    • printer paper
    • paper plates
  • Medications
    • cold medicine
    • Tylenol
    • ibuprofen
    • naproxen
    • Benadryl (for adults and children)
  • Other
    • outdoor activities
      • chalk, bubbles, games
    • socks and underwear (for both adults and children)
    • box and room fans

About The Midwest Mountain Lions

This women’s semi-pro full-contact tackle football team’s membership spans Southeastern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois. They are affiliated with the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA), which has about 60 teams across the county. They are the largest, longest running, and most competitive women’s tackle football league in the world, and Racine is home to one of the teams: the Midwest Mountain Lions.

The Midwest Mountain Lions was formed in 2019, after many women’s semi-pro teams folded. Women from various teams around the Midwest came together to continue their love for the game after their original teams were discontinued.

Talk about a team effort, everything from the team name to team colors was chosen by the players. Mary Ellen Six and her wife, Snoopy Shuster are the team owners. Six is a member who you’ll see on the field, while Shuster coaches from the sidelines. Shuster has experience both in playing and coaching football for 14 years. She even helps coach the infamous Racine Raiders, who will also be playing on May 21, after the women’s team. In addition, Jahamal Hardy, who coaches for the Racine Raiders, is the head coach for the women’s team. View the Raiders schedule on our website.

Six shares, “we canceled the entire 2020 season. And then we were not able to do the 2021 season because of lingering COVID. Now we’re finally taking the field.”

Taking the Field

While considered a “developmental team” according to the WFA, Shuster explains that this is due to their small team size. While they may be a small team of about 20 women, they are mighty. They have been practicing and preparing for their big debut on Saturday since January.

The oldest player is 52 years old and the youngest is 21 years old. Despite their age differences, they have the same goal: to have the same opportunity that men have had to play a full tackle sport. The Midwest Mountain Lions is a team where all women can roar.

Trailblazing

Coach Shuster says, “football is a sport that’s literally for every shape,” the linemen, you know for the big girls, there’s middle-sized people’ at the linebackers and running backs. Then there’s the skinny girls who get to run around as wide receivers. What we do it’s like the most encompassing sport there is.”

Player Kaitlyn Wolfer shares, “we need to get out of these gender norms that playing a rough sport, such as football, is only for the boys and the men. I personally am tired of people being surprised when I tell them that I’m a female football player and that I’m also a nurse because football doesn’t pay any bills. I play because I simply love the game. Nobody ever blinks an eye when a male says it, so why should they blink an eye with us women?”

Wolfer hopes to inspire the next generation to realize that football is for everyone. Despite disbelief and COVID-19 setbacks, the Mountain Lions are trailblazing for the next generation.

“I’m a part of something that’s much better than me and much bigger than my team,” says Wolfer.

Join The Pack

Interested in joining the team? You can become the next Midwest Mountain Lion. No experience and no education are required to become a team member. Without a doubt, fellow teammates and coaches are willing to show new players the ropes.

Coach Shuster is set on helping women get a game plan in place that works for them. She says, “If you are an athlete or if you are at least willing to work out and achieve what you need to achieve, we will teach you. We will teach you the game, we will teach you the rules.”

While football has been looked at as a predominantly male sport, Shuster is focused on helping women succeed. “Some techniques that men use are a great service to them, but don’t necessarily apply to women, or not it’s serviceable.” With that being said, she shares, “it’s very important to have an individualized coaching plan for every player.”

The Midwest Mountain Lions have open tryouts on weekends from late summer to early fall at the REAL School, 10116 Stellar Ave., Sturtevant. This is also where practices are held. Find out more information about joining on their website.

In Action

Come out and watch the Mountain Lions again on Saturday, May 28, 2022. They will be playing at Franklin High School, 8222 S. 51st St. in Franklin, against the Sioux Falls Snow Leopards. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. with gates opening at 3 p.m. Tickets are sold at the gate and are $10 for adults, $5 for kids (5-17) and college students with ID, and Veterans (with ID) and children under 5 get in free.

Looking for another way to support the squad? Buy a T-shirt with proceeds benefitting the team. Find them on Facebook to stay up to date and see where they are on the prowl next.

Credit: Midwest Mountain Lions

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