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Running back Jennifer Welter: Woman power, history made at pro football game

Jennifer Welter, the first pro female running back
Jennifer Welter, the first pro female running backTwitter Photo File, Courtesy of Dallas News

Running back Jennifer Welter made history this week as the first female running back to play in a men’s pro football game, proving that woman power can be very much present in the male-dominated sport. Although she might not yet be at the level of the NFL quite yet, 36-year-old Welter showed what she’s made of for the very first time out on the football field down in Allen, Texas. FOX Sports shares this Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, that although the determined female athlete took a few hard hits, she didn’t let that stop her from keeping up with the heavyweights on the opposing team.

Jennifer Welter was forced to wait a full 2-and-a-half quarters before officially hitting the field, but this running back made history the moment she did so. For the very first time, a woman would be playing as a running back in a men’s pro football game. If females have ever arrived to play in the past, it’s almost always only been for a brief moment to simply punt the ball.

However, the 36-year-old Welter — who proudly stands as a longtime veteran of Women’s Pro Football — demonstrated some real woman power after appearing this Saturday at the Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution game. She officially signed to try out for the competitive pro men’s team just last month, and the athlete proved her mettle with both endurance and strength.

It was the Revolution that managed to earn a 64-30 win over the opposing North Texas Crunch. However, the female athlete failed to find the end zone during the game. Within the 5-yard line halfway in the third quarter of the men’s pro football match, running back Jennifer Welter took the handoff from a quarterback and made for an open hole in the defense, yet the 130-pound woman was knocked back before passing through for a loss.

Welter didn’t let the hard blow get to her though, despite few women being able to stand up to a tackle from past Division 1 college stars and NFL hopefuls.

"I said, 'Is that all you got?'" Welter reportedly told the well over 6’ foot, 245-pound Crunch defensive lineman Cedric Hearvey. "I didn't want them to think I was intimidated."

At this point in time during the tryouts, Jennifer Welter hasn’t yet made the Texas pro football team. However, the Revolutions are allegedly planning on keeping this talented female athlete as part of their organization, regardless of whether this history-making woman makes the final cut.

"I want Jen to be a part of this team in some capacity," team owner Tommy Benizio said. "Whether it's on the field or off the field, I hope she will become part of the Revolution family for the long term."