Lincoln Youth Football encouraging girls to try out the league
The Lincoln Youth Football League has been around for nearly 70 years. Last year they had 940 kids, only 2 were girls.
It's been a co-ed organization for as long as they can remember. Now, league coaches and organizers say they would love to get more girls in youth football.
Every year the league said it's common to have one girl in each of the five age groups. It's been the same for the past decade. But, they want that number to grow.
Girls in the program also want to see more females on the field.
"Football's not only for boys. Girls can play too, you can play any sport you want," said Morgan Slevage
That's why Morgan went out for the Lincoln youth football league.
"She came to us early on and said she wanted to play football. My wife and I were totally supportive and let her play," said her dad Mike Slevage.
Makenzy Bellamy also asked her parents to play, and has been in the league for two years.
"I kind of just wanted to see what it was all about and I was kind of nervous my first year. Because I didn't know what the boys were going to think or how it would all go, but it ended up being just fine," said Makenzy
Not only was it fine, but Makenzy and Morgan said they love the rush of the game.
"It was kind of easy and hard, and it was really fun," said Morgan.
"Once we got our first win it was really exciting and all of us were so happy about it," said Makenzy.
Learning some of the skills proved to be the hardest part.
"Tackling isn't always the easiest. You have to like get low, and it was hard to learn that at first but once you get used to it it's really good," said Makenzy.
The girls, and all players, also learn a lot about game strategy.
"In rookie, the coaches were allowed to be on the field and you could call timeouts and they could make plays. You would get to go in a huddle and you would get to talk about what plays and where everyone would be," said Makenzy.
Makenzy and Morgan's dad's have both coached. They enjoy cheering on their girls, but also having other women on the team.
"Everybody's a little nervous. The boys don't know what to think about it. But about half way through the season, I mean they all changed. They were all there to support her and it was pretty cool," said Kyle Bellamy.
"It's fun because the boys don't expect it to be a girl that's coming up and laying them on their back and then when they shake hands at the end of the day the long blonde hair falls off beneath your helmet they're kind of, everybody is pretty surprised," said Mike Slevage.
After being the only girls on their teams, both urge others to come out and try it.
"You won't regret it. It's so fun. You get like a new family. And it's just worth it," said Makenzy.
Registration for the youth league is open now, and runs through the end of July.
The season starts near the end of August. The league recommends all kids try flag football first to see if they want to move up to tackle.
Click the link on the side of this page for more registration information.