Skip to main content

Murray-based Utah Falconz women’s football team opens season as defending champions

Mar 31, 2017 09:50AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

Since their creation three years ago, this Utah Falconz team has lost only one game. (Utah Falconz)

Gallery: Murray-based Utah Falconz women’s football team opens season as defending champions [5 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Carl Fauver | carlf@mycityjournals.com

The best Utah sports team you’ve likely never heard of is about to launch its fourth season. In the previous three seasons they lost just one time, a championship game, by four points.

“I’ll never forget that game,” Keeshya Cox said. “Sure, we’ve won all the rest…but that one still hurts. I never want that feeling again.”

Cox is the star running back for the 31-1 Utah Falconz of the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL). With league names like the Yellow Jackets, PhantomZ and Lady Crushers, IWFL teams compete coast to coast, from Maine to Montreal and Tampa Bay to Tennessee.

The Murray-based Utah Falconz play their home games at Cottonwood High School.

Last season Cox rushed for 1,364 yards in 12 games (113.7 ypg), guiding the Falconz to a blowout win in the 2016 IWFL World Championship in Charlotte, N.C.  Utah beat the Minnesota Vixens, 49-6.

It was sweet revenge for the Utah women, who’s only loss in three seasons came in the championship game, the year before.

The Falconz begin defense of their title April 8 in Phoenix. Their home opener is April 15 hosting the Sacramento Sirens.

“I grew up watching football with my family and always wanted to be a part of it,” said team founder and owner Hiroko Jolley. “This is not a profit making venture. I spend five to sometimes 10 hours a day coordinating team activities. But I love the game, so it’s worth it.”

In this pay-to-play league, each team member is charged $800 to cover uniforms, equipment, travel expenses and referees. Coaches volunteer their time. Nearly every road game involves a long bus ride, though the trek to North Carolina was by air.

“These women are all former athletes and come from all walks of life,” Jolley added. “We have former rugby and soccer players, track runners, basketball and softball players, you name it.”

The 52-woman Falconz roster has an 18 year old, all the way up to a 45 year old.

“No grandmothers on the team,” Jolley said. “But lots of moms.”

Cox became acquainted with the team while playing flag football at Sugarhouse Park.  The former Dixie State University basketball player was approached after the non-contact football game by Louise Bean, the Falconz quarterback.

“She told me about a brand new team that was just being formed and asked me to join her at one of their tryout clinics,” Cox said. “I loved it right away. This is not a rec league. It’s very, very competitive. It’s great for former collegiate athletes because many of us need something to replace that level of competition.”

In addition to her nearly 1,400 yards rushing last season, the Missouri native Cox also scored 29 touchdowns. “Sure, I love carrying the ball, but it’s even more fun for me to assist and mentor my teammates, and watch them succeed,” she said.

Another of those former college athletes is Elisa Salazar, who played softball for McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La. She’s now a wide receiver and defensive back for the Falconz.

“What I love about the team is the effort our coaches make to get everyone into the games,” Salazar said. “In the championship game last summer, everyone had gotten in by the second quarter. I love playing myself, but it’s also amazing to see my teammates do well.”

The Falconz normally deploy a veer triple option offense, primarily to offset their smaller size. Air Force Academy graduate Rick Rasmussen is their head coach.

“He’s amazing,” Salazar added. “He doesn’t smile a lot, but he has a big heart. When he calls us out once in a while, it’s only because he wants what’s best for us.”

Something must be working. Last season the Falconz outscored their opponents 621 to 40. Utah outgained the opposition, in total offensive yardage, 4,299 to 962.

Tickets to their April 15 home opener at Cottonwood High School are $10 for ages 11 and up, $8 for seniors and members of the military. Kids 10 and under are free.

“If people come out to see one game, I think they’ll like it,” Jolley said. “Our players take it seriously and work hard.”

With 31 wins and only one loss, that seems to be working.

Sports, Today
  • Apex Fun Run

    02/21/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/23/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • The Nerd

    02/23/2018
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    The Nerd plays at The Theater @ Mount Jordan on February 16, 17, 23, 24, March 2 and 3, 7:30 pm. ...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/24/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • The Nerd

    02/24/2018
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    The Nerd plays at The Theater @ Mount Jordan on February 16, 17, 23, 24, March 2 and 3, 7:30 pm. ...


  • Grand Opening

    02/24/2018
    07:30PM — 08:00PM

    Mister Car Wash has opened a new express location in Taylorsville, UT at 3856 5400 S Salt Lake Ci...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/25/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/26/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • Aging Mastery Program - South Jordan

    02/26/2018
    12:30PM — 02:00PM

    Join the ten-week health and wellness program, Aging Mastery at South Jordan Senior Center. The c...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/27/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • Aging Mastery Program

    02/27/2018
    02:00PM — 03:30PM

    Join the ten-week health and wellness program, Aging Mastery at Taylorsville Senior Center. The c...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/21/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/22/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • 4100 South Reconstruction Open House

    02/22/2018
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    West Valley City is preparing to reconstruct 4100 South between Bangerter Highway and 5460 West. ...


  • WJHS FOOTBALL PLAYER PARENT MEETING

    02/22/2018
    06:30PM — 08:00PM

    ITS TIME TO GET READY FOR WJHS 2018 FOOTBALL SEASON. DO YOU WANT TO PLAY FOOTBALL FOR THE WEST J...


  • R.C.I.A.

    02/22/2018
    06:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Learn the Red Cross Recommendations for Treating water in an Emergency If an emergency struc...


  • Learn the Red Cross Recommendations for Treating water in an Emergency If an emergency struc...


  • *FREE* Online Clean Water Preparedness Webinar

    02/22/2018
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Learn the Red Cross Recommendations for Treating water in an Emergency If an emergency struc...


  • *FREE* Clean Water and Preparedness Seminar

    02/22/2018
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Learn the Red Cross Recommendations for Treating water in an Emergency If an emergency struc...


  • Learn the Red Cross Recommendations for Treating water in an Emergency If an emergency struc...


  • If an emergency struck today, would you be willing to bet on the safety of your drinking water su...


  • *FREE* ULTIMATE Clean Water Preparedness Class

    02/22/2018
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Learn the Red Cross Recommendations for Treating water in an Emergency If an emergency struc...


  • *FREE* Online Training and Preparedness Class

    02/22/2018
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Learn the Red Cross Recommendations for Treating water in an Emergency If an emergency struc...


  • Instruction Classes

    02/22/2018
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/23/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • The Nerd

    02/23/2018
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    The Nerd plays at The Theater @ Mount Jordan on February 16, 17, 23, 24, March 2 and 3, 7:30 pm. ...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/24/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • The Nerd

    02/24/2018
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    The Nerd plays at The Theater @ Mount Jordan on February 16, 17, 23, 24, March 2 and 3, 7:30 pm. ...


  • Grand Opening

    02/24/2018
    07:30PM — 08:00PM

    Mister Car Wash has opened a new express location in Taylorsville, UT at 3856 5400 S Salt Lake Ci...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/25/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/26/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • Aging Mastery Program - South Jordan

    02/26/2018
    12:30PM — 02:00PM

    Join the ten-week health and wellness program, Aging Mastery at South Jordan Senior Center. The c...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/27/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • Aging Mastery Program

    02/27/2018
    02:00PM — 03:30PM

    Join the ten-week health and wellness program, Aging Mastery at Taylorsville Senior Center. The c...


  • Apex Fun Run

    02/28/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • Apex Fun Run

    03/01/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • R.C.I.A.

    03/01/2018
    06:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Instruction Classes

    03/01/2018
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Apex Fun Run

    03/02/2018
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Apex Fun Run is a fitness-and leadership-based fundraising program for elementary schools. Bennio...


  • The Nerd

    03/02/2018
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    The Nerd plays at The Theater @ Mount Jordan on February 16, 17, 23, 24, March 2 and 3, 7:30 pm. ...


  • The Nerd

    03/03/2018
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    The Nerd plays at The Theater @ Mount Jordan on February 16, 17, 23, 24, March 2 and 3, 7:30 pm. ...


  • Aging Mastery Program - South Jordan

    03/05/2018
    12:30PM — 02:00PM

    Join the ten-week health and wellness program, Aging Mastery at South Jordan Senior Center. The c...


  • Aging Mastery Program

    03/06/2018
    02:00PM — 03:30PM

    Join the ten-week health and wellness program, Aging Mastery at Taylorsville Senior Center. The c...


  • R.C.I.A.

    03/08/2018
    06:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Follow your heart straight to adventure with Disney On Ice! Families will make unforgettable memo...


  • Instruction Classes

    03/08/2018
    07:45PM — 09:00PM

    Has your child, grandchild, friend ever ask you why Catholic believe this or do that? Can you exp...


  • Follow your heart straight to adventure with Disney On Ice! Families will make unforgettable memo...


  • Volunteer Fair & Open House

    03/10/2018
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Curious about volunteering at Red Butte Garden? Join us at the Volunteer Fair Open House any t...


  • Follow your heart straight to adventure with Disney On Ice! Families will make unforgettable memo...


  • Follow your heart straight to adventure with Disney On Ice! Families will make unforgettable memo...


  • Aging Mastery Program - South Jordan

    03/12/2018
    12:30PM — 02:00PM

    Join the ten-week health and wellness program, Aging Mastery at South Jordan Senior Center. The c...


  • Aging Mastery Program

    03/13/2018
    02:00PM — 03:30PM

    Join the ten-week health and wellness program, Aging Mastery at Taylorsville Senior Center. The c...


 

 

 

Online Edition Cottonwood Heights
Online Edition Holladay
Follow My City Journals on Facebook
Advertise with us

 

City Journals 9500 South 500 West, Suite 205, Sandy, Utah 84070 801.254.5974