Force Tryouts

The Chicago Force, the women’s professional football team in Chicago, will be holding more open tryouts. The next round of tryouts will be held on Saturday December 17th at Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Avenue in Evanston. The tryouts will go from 1-3PM but participants are asked to come by 12:45PM.

The Force went undefeated during their regular season in 2011 and missed a shot at playing in their version of the Super Bowl when they lost in the last minutes to Boston in the semi finals. The Force feature arguably the best female football player in the world in Jessica Springer at running back and Sami Grisafe at quarterback and run a sophisticated spread offense.

 

Here’s Sami Grisafe showing off her talent, singing.

 

Force Tryouts

Tryouts for the Women’s Professional Football team the Chicago Force will be held this and next month.

The next open tryout will be held on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. It will be held on November 17th, 2011. It will be held from 3-6PM though those trying out are instructed to arrive by 2:45PM to sign up. It will be held at the main gym 901 West Roosevelt. Ladies are reminded that the tryout fee is $20 and there will be a meet and greet afterwards with the team at Morgan’s Bar and Grill at 1325 South Halsted.

Tryouts are limited to those seventeen years and older. For more information, call 312-405-4130.

Force Moving On

 

The Chicago Force is moving on in the play offs after beating the previously unbeaten Pittsburgh Passion 41-31 at Evanston Township High School Saturday evening.

The game was dominated by Force stand out running back Jessica Stringer who accounted for five of the Force six scores.

Stringer dominated at times like Bo Jackson, not the real life former running back. Instead, Springer looked more like the video game version affectionately known as Tecmo Bo. Springer ran around, over and through Passion defenders all evening long as the Passion had no answers.

Following a nice return of the opening kick off by #3 Albiona Zhubi to the Passion forty five yard like, the first drive was all Springer. She gained all forty five yards and finished off the drive by taking a direct snap out of the shot gun and powering in for a five yard touch down. A missed extra point made it 6-0.

A Sami Grisafe strike to Zhubi was all the yardage the Force mustered on their second drive was all the Force mustered besides Springer on their second drive. Springer finished off the second drive with a six yard touchdown run. Springer powered in for a two point conversion and in a blur it was 14-0 Force.

The Passion, co owned by former Steeler legend Franco Harris, only allowed thirty five points in the entire regular season, but their defense provided little resistance all day.

The game was on the verge of getting out of hand when Passion trickery put them back in the game. #80 Lyndsi Hughes took a pitch that looked like a sweep when she pulled up and threw a bomb down the side lines to #37 Desiree Sterling for a long gain. #7 Amanda Haeg, the Passion Quarterback took a bootleg into the endzone to make it 14-7 with 3:51 left in the first.

The Force answered right back. Springer finished off another drive for a three yard touchdown for her third score of the opening quarter. The drive included a nice strike from quarterback Sami Grisafe to #83 Jeannette Grey.

By the second quarter the Passion offense settled in. They were lead by their quarter back Amanda Haeg, who was reminiscent of another quarterback that wears the number seven, Michael Vick. Unfortunately for the Passion, Haeg looked more like Falcons Vick rather than last year’s Eagles Vick. She produced many exciting plays scrambling out of trouble and often gaining first downs with unscripted scrambles. On the other hand she just missed connecting on several long throws.

As such, the Passion only managed another field goal and Springer’a fourth touchdown made it 27-10 at the end of the half.

The Passion tightened things up in the second half after Haeg found #80 Hughes for a twenty five yard score on fourth down and the Passion was back in the game at 27-17.

While their offense was starting to click, the Passion continued to have no answer for Stringer on defense. She busted out for a long run and finished off the drive with a three yard score to make it 35-17.

The Passion kept it close the rest of the game but never got within one score. Springer took hand offs from Grisafe and lined up in a hybrid Wildcat, with a power eye tackle eligible. No matter the formation, Springer was counted to rack up first downs and lead the For e to scores that countered Passion scores.

The Passion scored with 3:46 left in the fourth to make it 41-31 but a failed onside attempt sealed the game.

The Force will be back in action at ETHS in two weeks as they continue their play off run against the Boston Militia.

Brandy Hatcher’s 2nd year shows promise

Brandy Hatcher brings one on in against Minnesota Photo Credit:Scott Renshaw

 

Brandy Hatcher is a relative newcomer to the world of Women’s Tackle Football. But even though she’s only 130 lbs, Hatcher – a running back – trails only 8 year veteran, Jessica Springer, in total yardage and touchdowns scored this season. Hatcher, who hails from Lansing, Michigan, came to Chicago to work on her Masters of Nursing at Rush University Medical – and didn’t expect to be playing full-contact football when she got here. In fact, Brandy had only played 2 football games in her life – and they didn’t involve full contact. “When I moved here, I didn’t know anyone. But I had played flag football before with some friends and thought it might be a good way to meet people. I googled it, and The Chicago Force popped up first. The tryouts were the next weekend. So I decided to go for it.”

Hatcher’s playing has improved ten-fold in her second season, with 3 touchdowns and almost 350 yards so far this year. It’s something Hatcher chalks up to confidence and fearlessness. Getting hit by women almost twice her size was not something that Hatcher was initially warmed up to – but in this past season, with practices at least twice a week, she’s constantly improving – and hungry for more. “My favorite part about playing with the Force, besides the camaraderie of my teammates, is the physical challenge of it. At the end of the day, I’m physically exhausted – and it’s a great feeling. I never thought I’d be doing this.”

Another perk? The fans, of course. “The fans are so great! I was getting ice cream the other day, wearing my Chicago Force t-shirt, and some random guy came up to me, asking what the Force was. I told him, full-contact women’s football, and he said – ‘Really? In Chicago? I’ll come!’ ”

And you should, too. Look forward to the Force playoff games starting at the end of the month.

 

Chicago Force Move to 4-0

It was a slight rain and a dreary day that accompanied a clash of unbeaten teams with simmering bad blood as the Chicago Force hosted the Kansas City Tribe at Winnemac Stadium.

The Tribe, 4-0, had beaten their opponents 77, 82, , 76, and 88 to 0. Meanwhile, the Force was only slightly less impressive, 3-0, winning 69-0, 58-0, and 29-7.

It was truly a clash of the titans at Winnemac Stadium.

The Force signature offense is the spread offense. It consists of four receivers, one running back and the quarterback in shotgun.

Today, Coach Konecki, zigged when everyone expected him to zag, and added a whole new wrinkle.

He lined up in a power eye, with a tackle eligible, the running back star Jessica Springer, at quarter back in shot gun.

Meanwhile, starting quarterback Sami Grisafe, was forced to watch from the sidelines.

It was brilliant for its counter intuitive thought process. The spread offense, as its name implies, spreads both the offense and defense.

This packs everything in. If you prepared for one all week, you’d be totally unprepared for the other.

The game became pretty simple after. Springer would take the direct snap and act like any great option or Wildcat quarterback and take off for big yardage.

Springer was recently featured in the New York Times as the best female football player on the planet and she looked all of it. She rushed fifty times for 312 yards and a couple scores.

The offense ran through her all day long in her Herculean effort.

The drawback of this strategy is that Grisafe had trouble getting comfortable all day.  She missed a number of intermediate passes leading to the end of drives.  She was also intercepted.Grisafe acts and sings when she’s not lining up behind center. She’ll be singing at the Underground Wonder Bar this Wednesday the 11th at 11PM. She should have no trouble adjusting to any pressure after the manner in which the Tribe defense was in constant pursuit of her all day.

Still midway through the first, Springer connected on the first of several long runs when she broke off tackle right, got to the second level, and then sprinted to the corner of the endzone for the first score.

After a three and out, the Force got another strike. Grisafe lined up under center in a packed line up, in what would be one of several other gadget formations the offense would show.

She executed and excellent ball fake, while the tight end #85 Kimberly Marks sneaked behind the defense for a pitch and catch score. A missed extra point made it 13-0 but it looked to be yet another typical game for the Force.

In the second quarter, the momentum shifted. #23, Jenny Schmidt, got her groove back for the Tribe. The Tribe also showed a spread offense in the game. Whereas Schmidt, their quarterback,  looked out of rhythm in the first quarter, she looked in command the rest of the way.

 

Schmidt had a remarkable resemblance to Virginia Tech Quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Vikings quarterback Joe Webb. She was able to use her feet  to buy time and then would find receivers open for short and intermediate completions.

Also, #13 Larisha Graves, their running back, became almost as unstoppable as Springer. Following a long drive, Graves went off tackle left for the Tribe’s first score.

Jessica Springer capped off another drive when she went off tackle right from the power eye formation for score. A missed two point conversion made it 19-7.

Kansas City responded with a drive of their own that was kept alive by on opportune facemask penalty on #43 Melissa Whyms. Finally, Scmidt made like Michael Vick, scrambled, found an opening and darted into the end zone. It was 19-14, with 1:08 left in the half.

In the second half both defenses struggled to find answers for the opposing offenses. Springer was often unstoppable. Yet, the Tribe’s spread formation was a well oiled machine anchored by Schmidt.

Both teams traded scores throughout the second half. Grisafe sneaked in for a score and a two point scrambling strike to #83 Jeannette Gray made it 27-14.

Schmidt engineered a near flawless drive on the Tribe’s next possession and finished it off with a slant pass to #3 Liz Sowers.

With about eight minutes left in the game, Jessica Springer imposed her will on it. She dominated the drive. She’d take direct snaps, find holes, and move the chains. She looked like Denard Robinson, Darren McFadden and Darian Hagen all rolled into one. She finished it off with a score that made it 34-20 with 6:37 left.

 

The Tribe wasted no time and Schmidt found #33 Sowers on a crossing pattern for another score. On the extra point however, Springer blew through the line, extended her arms and blocked the kick, making it 34-26 with less than 4 minutes remaining.

Springer then gutted out a couple first downs on the Force next drive and the Tribe didn’t get the ball back until 45 seconds remained left. A last gasp ran out of time inside the Force end of the field. The final score was 34-26.

Th Force picks it up again next Saturday against the West Michigan Mayhem at 4PM at Winnemac Stadium.

Force Remain Perfect

Photo Credit:Ian Short

The Chicago Force improved to 3-0 with a 29-7 victory Saturday against the St. Louis Slam at Winnemac Stadium.

The game appeared to start in an inauspicious manner when #83 Jeanette Gray allowed the opening kick off to cruise over her head and bounce around near the goal line. Grey recovered, however, picking up the ball turning on her jets and taking the ball back to the Force 37 yard line. The sterling Force offense and its signature Spread set sputtered in the first quarter, failing on one fourth down attempt and Jessica Springer #46 fumbled on another fourth down attempt.

#37 Taylor Hay carried the offensive load for the Slam in the first quarter breaking off a number of first quarter runs for first downs. While both offenses were able to generate first downs, the first quarter looked like it would produce no points.

Then Springer motored for a thirty yard gain at the end of the quarter and the Force ended the quarter on the Slam three yard line.

Quarterback Sami Grisafe #15 rolled out and found #12 Carolyn Lee in the end zone to finish off the drive. A two point conversion made it 8-0 very early in the second quarter.

While the thirty yard run was her longest, Springer was integral in all the Force scores often earning tough five to seven yard runs by lowering her shoulder Mike Alstott like to keep drives alive.

#28 Brandy Hatcher scored the Force’ second touchdown and a pitch and catch from Grisafe to Gray for a two point conversion made it 16-0.

The Force outscored its opponents 127-0 in the first two games with the defense pitching two shutouts. That all ended when #36 Chris Hampton went off tackle right for a score to cap off a nice drive that included a well executed out pattern to #4 Kate Evers to give the Slam a first and goal. That, however, would be all the scoring for the Slam as several potential long gains were dropped by their receivers.

Sami Grisafe, meanwhile, looked like recent number one overall pick Cam Newton mixing up intermediate and long passes along with several impressive scrambles in which she ran around and over defenders for long gains. Grisafe paid for one scramble when #61 Tiara Pettis came in with a crushing Ronnie Lott like tackle and laid out Grisafe. Grisafe was unfazed, however, getting up and continuing the drive.

The highlight of the game came late in the second quarter. Following a catch off a slant pattern by Gray in which she broke a tackle for a long gain, the Force was set up near the goal line. #42 Leslie Johnson appeared to score when she showed a Mikel Leshoure like burst of speed on a sweep into the end zone but a holding penalty took the touchdown away. A couple plays later Carolyn Lee executed a fade pattern dove for the catch and dragged her toe just inside the sidelines for the score from Grisafe for a highlight reel catch worthy of consideration for ESPN Sportscenter Top Ten plays. A missed two point conversion made it 22-7 with 1:36 left in the half.

The final score came late in the fourth quarter when the Force ate up clock in the women’s version of smash mouth football. Springer gained consecutive first downs as the collision of shoulder pads could be heard and felt on the sidelines and beyond. Her cohorts Hatcher and #1 Angel Mason carried gains for a third first down on the drive and Springer finished off the drive carrying several Storm defenders into the end zone. An extra point made it 29-7 with 4:11 left in the fourth quarter.

The game was effectively over but the excitement wasn’t. On the next play starting cornerback #14 Emma Finestone made an impressive tackle on the kickoff on #36 Hampton of the Storm despite giving up about one hundred pounds. Finestone also earned the defensive player of the game honors. The Force will be back at it against the Kansas City Tribe next Saturday at 4PM again at home at Winnemac Stadium, 5105 North Leavitt.

Chicago Force win season opener 69-0 against Minnesota Machine

Jessica Springer makes her way through the Machine line. Photo Credit: Ian Short

The Chicago Force opened their Women’s Professional Football season Saturday April 9, 2011 against the Minnesota Machine at Winnemac Stadium. The Force looked like the World Champion Green Bay Packers taking on a Pop Warner team as they trounced the Machine 69 to 0. Head Coach John Konecki summed up the effort after the game, “this game was better than we could have ever imagined.”

The Force started the game with some trickery, attempting an onside kick to start the game. After it failed, the Machine worked with a short field at the Force 46. The Machine wasted the opportunity only gaining a yard and failing on a fourth down.

The Force then took a page from the Urban Meyer playbook running a spread offense while surgically moving down the field through a series of well designed screen passes. Quarterback Sami Grisafe had an efficient day that rivaled the performance of Phil Simms in Super Bowl XXI as she went 17-19 for 208 yards.

Once the Force entered Machine territory the offense changed from sophisticated to smash mouth as running back Jessica Springer (#46) summoned her inner Mike Alstott, running over and through Machine defenders, for runs of 13, 11, and 9 yards, including the first score. Springer would score on the second drive as well and wound up with 48 yards on 6 carries in the first quarter.

Already up two scores midway through the first, the Force wasted no time putting more points on the board. Out of the spread, quarterback Sami Grisafe (#15) found wide receiver Ashley Berggren (#80) on a screen. Berggren broke a tackle and then made like Usain Bolt and sprinted down the sidelines for a fifty nine yard score.

Meanwhile the Machine offense was inept and confused all day. Often lining up in shotgun, they had trouble with multiple snaps. Their running game was non existent, and the offensive line had difficulty identifying the Force’ multiple blitz packages. This culminated in a plethora of third and longs, with the Force causing numerous premature and errand passes through their pressure. One drive ended with an impressive blitz and sack by linebacker Leslie Darcy (#67), who made like Ray Lewis fighting off a block on her way like a laser to the quarterback.

In the second quarter, Springer looked more like Bo Jackson, showing a unique combination of speed and power. She broke tackles and took off down the sidelines for numerous long runs. Of her style, Springer said afterwards, “I’m very deceiving for my size. I push 200 pounds. I’m very strong but I’m very quick.”

Following one Springer thirty nine yard dash, quarterback Sami Grisafe and wide receiver Brandy Hatcher (#28) looked like Tom Brady and Wes Welker, as they connected on a short slant. Hatcher broke a tackle and then galloped into the end zone for a twenty three yard touchdown. Grisafe also connected on a screen pass for another touchdown in the quarter.

Springer ended the half with gaudy numbers, 13 carries for 172 yards. The score was 50-0, and proverbial rout was on.

In the second half, Coach John Konecki benched both his stars, Springer and Grisafe. The offense was more subdued, giving the defense a chance to shine. The Force intercepted four passes. The Machine’s first drive of the second half started in a promising manner with a couple first downs. That all ended with an interception by Emma Finestone (#14). Also intercepting passes in the second half were Darcy Leslie, Amber Burns (#32), and Lindsey Jacob (#30).

Jeanette Grey, who also had 4 catches for 34 yards, moved to quarterback in the second half. The Force relied heavily on the run in the second half, often handing the ball to Brandy Hatcher, who moved to running back. Hatcher summoned her inner Dave Meggett sprinting for several long gains on sweeps. That included a 27 yard gallop for a score in the third quarter.

The Force is 59-19 since its inception in 2003, but they’re looking for their first championship. Majority owner Linda Bache liked what she saw saying, “I was expecting us to put it on them,” but cautioned that the Force will see tougher competition soon, “our next two games will be competitive because we’re facing two previous champions.”

Force to open against Minnesota

The Chicago Force, a women’s full contact football league team based at Winnemac Stadium, will be opening its 2011 season April 9 against the Minnesota Machine.

Chicago Force scrimmage to benefit Shriners

The Chicago Force will scrimmage with the Chicago Slaughter at half-time of the Kent Predators game. Part of the ticket proceeds from the Chicago Slaughter game will be given to the Shriners foundation.

  • Chicago Force v Chicago Slaughter
  • Half-time of Slaughter v Kent Predators
  • Sears Center, Hoffman Estates
  • Fri., Mar. 26, 7:35P

Are you ready for some Chicago Force football?

The Chicago Force of the Women’s Football Alliance has announced it’s schedule for 2011 with the home opener on April 9th against the Minnesota Machine.

4/9- Home vs. Minnesota Machine
4/16 @ Wisconsin Wolves
4/23- Easter Bye Week
4/30- Home vs. St Louis Slam
5/7- Home vs. Kansas City Tribe
5/14- Home vs. West Michigan Mayhem
5/21- @ St. Louis Slam
5/28- Memorial Weekend Bye
6/4- Bye
6/11- @ West Michigan Mayhem
618- @ Indianapolis Crash

6/25- Regional Playoffs
7/9- Conference Playoffs
7/16- Conference Championships

7/30- National Championship

Home field and game times to be announced.

Something to warm us all up on a cold day, a gallery of a classic match up with an old Detroit rival from the 09′ season.Enjoy,the Super Bowl may be on Sunday but there is only three months until women’s professional full contact football returns to Chicago’s north side, it should be more than worth the wait.