POSTED: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 4:45pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 30, 2012 - 7:51am
MCALLEN — These ladies make up the Mcallen Mystics...fhe first women's full contact football team in the Valley.
"This thing kind of blew up overnight," said Head Coach, Santiago Cruz.
Growing up they weren't allowed to play football with they guys, so they say that drive is what sets them apart.
"People just telling us, oh no you can't do this because you're a girl, so just being competitive and wanting it more," said Quarterback, Yoli Pena.
"It gives us an opportunity to go out there and show that we can actually do it," said Linebacker, Maria Reyes.
More than 70 women tried out in June, but only 30 made the cut. They started halfway into the season but are a force to be reckoned with.
"We've had a lot less time than the rest and knowing that is fuel to our fire," said Wide Receiver and Tight End, Nicole Stoffel.
They practice like guys and they hit like guys.
"We have girls out there that are just so tough, they don't even know. I'm probably sure if some of the guys actually got some hits from us they'll be like okay we understand," said Running Back and Wide Receiver, Teshay Winfrey.
The only difference is it's eight on eight.
"Some people have been asking whether it's just a show, some type of deal, but these girls train just regular football players," said Coach Cruz.
These women say they have a strong bond both on and off the field and it's what's helped them come this far.
"We have this unity of sisters that you can't find anywhere else," said Reyes.
"We take care of each other and we work really hard to be a part of something like a team outside of practice as well as inside," said Defensive End, Diann Diaz.
These ladies leave it all on the field and bruises are just a part of the game.
"We do hit head on. This actually I got yesterday, so they're fresh. Your body does get sore and even though a lot of us are athletes, it's a different kind of athletic combat," said Diaz.
Coach Cruz says the toughest thing so far has been learning the playbook, but it's nothing they can't handle.
"They've never played the game before, so everything we teach them they embrace."
The fierce ladies have their sights set on the Sugar N Spice Bowl coming up next month.
"It's basically like a Super Bowl, except it's all women," said Diaz.
The women take on the Corpus Christi Mermaids in Corpus Saturday, July, 28th.
Their first home game is August 11th.