Meet Your Militia: Penta (#36)

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Defensive back Penta (#36) holds a number of distinctions, but I wish to highlight two of them here: one, she was unanimously voted MVP of the Eastern Conference Championship game by me and Barker’s stepmom[1] and two, she has the coolest grandmother around. (Nanny, if you read this, I’m ready to storm the Boston Globe building with you, and I’m sorry I swear so much.)

1. Of the games you’ve played for this team, is there one that you consider your favorite? Which one and why?

Of all the games I’ve played, my favorite would have to be the one we just played against the Divas, for so many reasons: it advanced us to the Championship; they’re our arch-nemesis (the equivalent of Superman and Lex Luther, where the Militia = Superman); we shut them out; and IT JUST FELT SO GOOD!

Although we had beaten them twice during the regular season, we still had to put the work in during our many bye weeks to prepare, because once you make the playoffs it’s anyone’s game. There’s so much history between the Militia and the Divas (most, if not all of our supporters are well aware of this) and we made a promise to ourselves and our supporters that we were on a mission not to let history repeat itself. Check! On to the next one…

2. How did you first find out about the Boston Militia? What experience did you have with football before then?

I first found out about the IWFL in January of 2007, when my mom saw an ad in my local newspaper for tryouts for the Bay State Warriors and jokingly suggested I try out. I went online and did some research, and it looked pretty awesome. I recruited two of my friends to try out with me and it was amazing! I’ve been addicted ever since. I had played Pop Warner football when I was in 6th & 7th grade, and I also played on my high school powderpuff team in my senior year.

3. During one scary, rainy game in 2008, you were injured and got taken off the field on a stretcher into an ambulance. (Thankfully, you either had no lasting damage or have been doing a kick-ass job of hiding it for two years.) What were your thoughts after that happened? Did it make you nervous at all to return to playing?

When it was happening, it was terrifying and painful – it was more of a reality check than anything. It’s one of those things that you know can happen, but you don’t think it will ever happen to you. Overall, it was a very scary experience, one I never want to go through again. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about returning to play, but if you play with hesitation, that’s when most injuries occur.

After that, I put a lot more effort into working on my technique and tackling properly to avoid injury as much as possible. Plus, the way I see it, you can get hurt doing anything – clearly, launching your body around increases your chances, but at least it’s fun!

Nanny with her crew
4. What is something that’s made you feel supported as a Militia player?

My family and friends go above and beyond to support me every week. They tailgate before every home game (even in the rain), they made an awesome sign and if they can’t make the game, they listen to it on the radio. I even have five family members traveling to Texas to support us in the championship game. One of them is my grandmother, who is by far my biggest fan – she has put off vacations this summer to come to our games, she even weathered our playoff game vs. the Sharks in the rain (I spotted her in the stands wearing a sombrero to protect her hair). There are a few things my grandmother can’t stand, including heat and humidity, rain, flying and the D.C. Divas – and she is going to fly to Texas in the middle of July! Seriously, if that doesn’t make a person feel supported I don’t know what will. And she doesn’t just love the Militia because of me, she supports the entire team. She carries our program around to show it off to random people[2] and every time I talk to her she says “I believe in all of you; if anyone can do it, it’s the Militia. You girls are wonderful.” Oh Nanny, we love you too!

5. What is something you’d like see happen that would make you feel more supported?

It would definitely be cool to see our scores in the paper. Here’s another Nanny reference: every week she checks the Sunday paper sports section to see if they did a small write-up or even just put the results in the score column…needless to say, she is not very happy with the Globe or the Herald.

I also think that given all the sports networks that are out there today, we should get a little coverage. If they have room to cover bowling and billiards, I’m sure there is a time slot out there for women’s football. I’m just saying.

6. Assuming you have an iPod or mp3 player of some sort, please put it on “shuffle” and list the very first three songs that come up. (No skipping the embarrassing ones.)

OK, here they are: “Last Night” by Az Yet, “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper, “A Decade Under the Influence” by Taking Back Sunday.

  1. [1] the Backseat Coach got upset that he was not included in this statement but I explained that he waited until the end of the game to award her this designation while we declared it official several minutes before halftime.
  2. [2] Ooh! I do that too! Right on!

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