Detroit Dark Angels football team has women competing on gridiron

DETROIT – The Detroit Dark Angels won’t let a dip in temperature stop them, so they’re running drills, making grabs and throwing down just like the guys, except they aren’t guys at all.

The pony tails give it away. They’re women playing professional football.

“I saw posts on Facebook that there was a tackle league, so I decided to give it a try,” Jacquie Bennington, a third-season linebacker, said.

In its seventh season, the Dark Angels play in the Women’s Football Alliance, a league of about 45 teams nationwide. The DDA practices twice a week and plays an eight-game regular season plus playoffs. 

That’s a commitment on top of their day jobs. So why do these busy women do it?

“Because I love the game -- it’s a passion of mine,” Marcy Van Hartsveldt, a first-year wide receiver, said. “I’m competitive. It’s a lot different than anything I’ve done."

These gals are led by a few guys who don’t seem to notice any difference on the gridiron.

“No difference, it’s all football,” head coach Darnell Brice said. “When we put our helmets on, we’re football players."

The Dark Angels won their first game this season, last week in the snow against Flint. So, you can’t call these ladies soft. And, you won’t convince them the sport is just for men.

“If you have the guts, you can have the glory,” Van Hartsveldt said. “Football is for everyone."

The DDA have their next game on the road in Kalamazoo. They’re still looking to fill roster spots. 

Home games are played at Westland John Glenn High School. 

If interested, contact them on their Facebook page.

About the Author:

Jamie anchors sports coverage on Local 4 News Saturdays at 6 & 11 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m., in addition to hosting Sports Final Edition.