Remember Sam Gordon? Of course you remember Sam Gordon. The pint sized female football phenom has earned national attention twice in as many years for her SportsCenter worthy highlight reels, juking around would-be boy defenders, bouncing off some tackles and delivering some of her own. She’s a bona fide serious football talent, and now she’s found a way to get in even more game time.
According to this terrific story from our USA TODAY brethren at For The Win, Gordon has started her own all-girls tackle youth football league. Gordon was allegedly inspired to start the league by the raucous reception she received at a school assembly where she was speaking about her success on the field to classmates. At one point she asked how many girls in the class would like to play tackle football, and she recalls nearly all raising their hand. That visual apparently begat a string of actions that eventually led to a connection between Gordon’s father and a former professional women’s football player turned youth swim instructor with an idea for a league.
After looping in USA Football Director of Development Samantha Rapoport, the Utah Girls Tackle Football League was born. The 2015 season will include four teams comprised of 12 or 13 players per team, with eight playing on the field at a time for each squad.
Of course, the league’s biggest asset is Gordon, a viral star on social media who has a legitimate media following and fan base devoted to her every run. Now that she’ll be making those runs in the Utah Girls Tackle Football League, officials will hope that Gordon, her teammates and foes can help inspire others to follow in the Utah league’s footsteps.
“The boys I feel like it’s super strict,” Gordon told For The Win. “But with the girls, we’re all just so excited to be here and it’s so fun.”