Allen indoor football team makes history


Katie Egger

Becoming the first non-kicker to sign a professional football contract, running back Dr. Jen Welter, displays her new Texas Revolution jersey at her contract signing ceremony.

Stephanie Thomson, Staff Reporter

The Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League made history today.

“We are actually introducing the first female non-kicking professional football player,” Revolution Director of Communications Mathew Lunsford said.

Playing its home games in the Allen Event Center, the Revolution announced a ground breaking signing by adding Dr. Jennifer Welter to the roster. Welter, who has played in all-women football leagues before, knows this will be different.

“Yes, it’s pressure. But you know, I’m an athlete, and that’s what athletes do,” Welter said. “So you know, you have to rise up and fight hard–in whatever you do, whether you’re a girl or a boy. And they’ll all be fighting for their lives, and their dreams to play at this level and the next level. That’s just what football’s all about. So, yeah, it’s a lot of pressure for me just because I’m a girl, but it’s a lot of pressure to all of them, too.”

While there may have been other strong candidates, the team did its research and was impressed by Welter’s credentials.

“Jen is a top-notch female athlete, world class, an all-world performer, she’s won gold medals, she’s a brilliant, amazing woman, she’s also a doctor,” Lunsford said. “So to be a role model for future and aspiring women athletes, and women’s rights altogether, is a no-brainer.”

While the women who have been given opportunities to play professional football before have done so as kickers, Welter is joining the Revolution as a running back.

“She’s making a break though coming in as a different position group,” Revolution defensive coordinator Brandon Blackmon said. “So now that she’s playing running back, she’s going to have more contact, she can get involved more than a kicker would. It’s going to be pretty exciting to see her out there and think this will set a new trend for women in football. Judging players it’s all about production, and if she produces a lot, she can help us win. So even though she’s a woman, I want to make sure everyone’s treated the same. She’s going to come in, she’s going to work hard just like everybody else, and it’s going to be a great time.”

Even though Welter is just getting her start with the Revolution, her signing is already making an impact.

 “I think it’s awesome,” Texas Revolution Dancers captain Heather Fords said. “Like, anything to boost women–especially smaller kids, and I do have a child myself, so I’m always trying to make sure that she knows that she’s not a second-class citizen, that she can do basically anything that she wants to, whether it’s competing with another female or a male, for instance. I just really think that sets the bar, and says ‘hey, I can do this, I’m going to go for this.’”