Toledo Troopers football team set women's sports on right path - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Toledo Troopers football team set women's sports on right path

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Lots of memories floated around the Maumee River Yacht Club on Saturday night.

The Toledo Troopers were an all female professional football team back in the 70s.

About 80 former players came to the club for a re-union.

The team played from 1971-79.

They were members of the National Women's Football League, winning 7 consecutive championships.

Most of all, the son of the late coach Bill Stout says the troopers helped advance equal opportunity in sports before there was a Title IX.

"They should be remembered as a triumphant sports team who were pioneers in the female athletic movement. They were cobblestones in the milestones being set today in female athletics," said Guy Stout.

Teammates met and recalled their football careers.

They practiced 5 days a week for 5 months of the year.

They were housewives, beauticians and businesswomen.

Their pay was $25.00 a week, but they played for the love of the game, not the money.

The face of the franchise was Linda Jefferson, who today works for Toledo Head Start.

"We were all winners. I might have run a little faster than someone. Then someone on the team that blocked harder than I did. But we were all winners. We were a team," said Ms. Jefferson.

The Troopers inspirational story caught the eye of Hollywood director and producer Brett Leonard.

The Toledo native will immortalize the team in a film called 'Perfect Season.'

It will be filmed next year in Toledo.

"It's a great sociological story and it's a great personal and intimate story of women who really love to play football," said Mr. Leonard.

And real 'Troopers' who still love talking about their glory days on the gridiron.

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