The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Guilford alum pursues passion of football

(Carolina Phoenix)

    At first glance, it’s nothing unusual: a Guilford alum who played two sports with the college goes on to excel in pro-football, twice voted the team’s MVP and named All-American three seasons running. 

    What is important to note, however, is that the person under the pads isn’t male. 

    Jennifer King ’06, has shattered stereotypes and achieved greatness in a sport that, until now, has been completely dominated by men.

    “Since I was a little kid, I’ve always liked football,” King said. “I would watch games on my dad’s lap when I was a baby.” 

    Growing up, she played the sport in her backyard and around the neighborhood. Playing football came natural to her. 

    She pursued other sports, and eventually got an offer to play both basketball and softball at Guilford. 

    “I had offers to play basketball at much bigger schools, or softball, but they wouldn’t let me play both,” said King. “I talked to Guilford and they said ‘Yea, you can play both.'” 

    She went on to play the two sports at Guilford and studied sports management with a concentration in business.

    “Once I graduated, I had the opportunity to go to Australia to play basketball on the U.S. team,” said King. “It was a lot of fun, but while I was there, I started to grow tired of constantly practicing.” She returned to the States, and in a chance conversation with a friend, learned about an independent football league for women.

    “Football has always been my favorite sport,” said King. “Obviously, there weren’t any opportunities for me to play it growing up. This is like an answer from God.” 

    She became involved with the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL), and has just finished her fifth season with the Carolina Phoenix.

    “My goal is to win a national championship,” said King. “We’ve lost in the national semi-finals three years in a row. So that’s the main goal … We’re right there. Every year, we’re right there. We have what it takes to do it, we just come up short. So hopefully in 2012 we’ll be able to win it all.”

    “Jennifer is the consummate athlete,” said Tim Holmes, head coach of the Phoenix. “She wants to be the best she can be, and that work ethic drives her and drives the team. In five years of playing with us, she’s made the all-star team five times.”

    “I call her the Franchise,” said Holmes. “She was one of the very first players to join the Carolina Phoenix. I kind of built the team around her.”

    In her spare time, King serves as the assistant basketball coach at Greensboro College, works as a personal trainer, and broadcasts local football games. The biggest obstacle for her is trying to fit everything in. 

    “Finding time is hard. But I make time,” said King.

    The IWFL uses the same rules as the NFL, for the most part. 

    “It’s real football,” said King. “Usually people aren’t sure of what to expect, but when they see it, it’s regular football.     Sometimes you can’t even tell that it’s women out there playing.” 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *