Twenty-two Utah girls will demonstrate skills and abilities of female players on one of NFL’s largest stages

HERRIMAN — Laura Goetz made her way to her parents room trying to figure out what she’d done to get in trouble.

And what they told her once they asked her to sit down certainly made her cry.

But instead of reprimanding her for a mistake, they told the sophomore at Summit Academy that she and her football teammates were going to play a scrimmage during halftime at the NFL’s Pro Bowl on Jan. 26 in Orlando, Florida.

“I started crying because I was so happy and so excited about it,” said Goetz, who plays quarterback in the Utah Girls Tackle Football League. “I started jumping up and down. It was awesome.”

The NFL’s invitation to the first-of-its-kind all-girls tackle football league came about 10 days ago when Brent Gordon, a coach and board member, received a phone call from Samantha Rapoport, senior director of diversity and inclusion for the NFL.

“My reaction was, ‘Heck, yeah!’ we could,” said Gordon. “We’d love to go do something like this.”

The 22 players on the All-Star team are guests of the NFL and will be playing about seven minutes “to showcase the abilities of girl football players, and to demonstrate the growing interest among girls and women in the game of football,” Gordon said.

The 22 girls were chosen from the nearly 500 girls in Utah who played football last spring in the UGFL. The players attend 17 Utah high schools and many serve as their schools’ girls football club presidents. Nearly half of the girls are “legacy” players — players who have played in the all-girls league from its inception in 2015.

The girls will practice at the Real Salt Lake Academy indoor facilities in preparation for the scrimmage. While in Orlando, they will attend the AFC and NFC team practices and visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

See the full article here at the Deseret News