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West Valley City • Some dreams refuse to die.
Louise Bean, a mother of three now in her 30s, has wanted to play quarterback since she was a little girl. She grew up cheering for a long line of star BYU quarterbacks, especially Ty Detmer.
"He was undersized, and no one thought he could do it," said Bean Saturday as she participated in opening practice and tryouts for the Utah Jynx at the Franklin Covey Wellness Center, 2640 S. Decker Lake Drive. "That's what people think about women's football."
The 5-foot-6, 150-pound athlete played quarterback for the Jynx last year and helped lead the independent team, which plays at the old Granite High field, to a 5-3 record.
Utah actually has three semi-pro women's teams, the Jynx and the Blitz, both of which will compete this season in the Women's Football Alliance; and the Salt City Arch Angels, which is in the Women's Spring Football League.
Jynx owner and coach Greg Cover, who wore a T-shirt that read "Real men coach women's football," said there are about 120 women's teams in the nation.
This year, his team will play two preseason games beginning in the third week of March before playing eight regular season games. Playoffs follow, then a title game in Pittsburgh.
Women who make the team pay a fee to participate and the team picks up travel costs for away games. There were 60 players on the roster a year ago ranging in age from 18 to 46. They weighed anywhere from 115 to 300 pounds.
Cover said many of the women began their careers playing Ute Conference football against boys. During the tryouts, he and his coaching staff put about 40 women through agility drills, timed them in running drills and evaluated their skills.
Players said they want a chance to try the game at a high level.
"I never thought I'd play football," said Chelsea Hunt, who played softball and basketball at San Juan High School in Blanding and is now a pre-law student at UVU and sports a Chicago Cubs tattoo on her leg.
Julie Huber, who played volleyball and ran track at West Jordan High, wants to play wide receiver.
"I always loved sports growing up with brothers," said the 21-year-old. "I've always been around football. This is a great experience."
Stacy Shipmon, an Ogden native who started playing sports when she was 4 and participated in T-ball, basketball, volleyball and track, enjoyed playing middle linebacker last year. Her favorite part of the sport?
"Hitting and sacking the quarterback is what I love to do," said the manager of a local Walmart. "I love the sound of a hard hit."
Thirteen-year-old Deja Frenchwood, of Murray, who plays Ute Conference football, watched the tryouts from the stands. Though there is a minimum age of 18 to be on the team, the junior high student said she would like to try out for her high school football team.
As for Bean, she is thrilled to be able to quarterback her own team.
"We're just getting better and better," she said, mentioning a 300-yard passing effort in a loss. "We can play this game. We want to be the No. 1 team in the nation. We can do this!"
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