RGV Vixens One of Valley’s Female Football Teams

Posted: Updated: Jun 01, 2017 12:22 PM

HARLINGEN – When Mara Tatum first talked to her husband about playing football, he said he didn’t want her to play.

She said, “Then after some thought, he told me, ‘You know what? Don't let anybody tell you what to do, not even me.’”

Tatum is now a player with the Rio Grande Valley Vixens football team, and her husband Quincy is a coach. For some players, women’s football is an opportunity to participate in the game they love. For others, it started as a chance to show what’s possible.

"I first wanted to play, because they've always said this is something women can't do,” said player Ashley Flores.

Coach Kron Hokes added, "A lot of girls don't think they have what it takes to play football. It's kind of different when you actually see them."

The players’ ages range from 18 to mid-40s. “They're mothers. They're aunts. Some of them are grandmothers,” said Vixens Head Coach David Gonzalez.

Player Anna Beltran invited her daughter to join the team. This is the second season they’ve played football. “Not many people can say you play football with your mom,” said her daughter, Stephanie Alvarez.

The head coach told us, “They're out here willing to put in that work and willing to grind and get those wins on Saturday nights."

The players’ work isn’t limited to the field. Neither the coaches nor players are paid. "The girls have to go out there and look for sponsors,” said Jo Davila, one of the team’s general managers. “If they don't find sponsors, they, for the most part, will pay out of pocket."

Lisa Leal is the RGV Vixen’s other general manager. The women said the owner formed the league to empower women by promoting health and an active lifestyle. "She wanted something that was going to benefit women, bring them out of the box, try something new on a man's level,” said Davila.

"It's not light tackle. You're going to get laid out,” said player Brenda Reyna.     

"You actually have to have the heart to want to play,” added player Sophie Carrizalez. “If not, you're just going to get hurt going out there."

The RGV Vixens are one of at least four women’s football teams in the Valley. There are four more weeks in the season. You can visit their Facebook page for more information.

Harlingen Honeys is another team in the women’s football league. You can get more information about them on their Facebook page or by calling Gable Sandoval at 956-226-3889.

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