The Fighting Shockwave, Portland's women's full-contact football team, holds tryouts

Fighting Shockwave - KATU photo

They're fast, they're fierce and they're female.

"I was promised I could hit people and it'd be legal," says lineman Christi 'Bonzi' Lemieux, of why she tried out for the Fighting Shockwave, Portland's women's full-contact football team.

"Pound for pound, we hit just as hard as the guys do," says co-owner Rebecca Brisson. "More times than not, when people come out and watch us, after the game, they're like, 'Wow, that was fun, that was good, and that was some real football.'"

Established in 2002, the Fighting Shockwave is part of the Women's Football Alliance, a national league. They were division champions in 2016 and 2017, and they were 7 and 1 for the 2018 season.

"We are pretty good. I love to win. I'd say I'm a good winner and an alright loser," says wide receiver Hailey Petit, who's in her second season.

She says to not let the hard exteriors fool you.

"You think that they're gonna be really tough and not necessarily really friendly. Once you get to know them, you realize it's a big family. Take off the helmet and they're all big warm and fuzzy."

She's hoping her team can be a good example to other women and young girls.

"They don't have to be scared to do things that are male dominated. We have women from all walks of life here. We have people in the military, we have people that are police officers, we have engineers, we have people that work as contractors, people who are working in the trades, male dominated fields. So, I hope that young girls can see that if that's something they want to do in the future, they don't have to hold back."

If you want to be involved, the Fighting Shockwave is recruiting women right now for the 2019 season. Tryouts are Saturday, December 15th at ATI Physical Therapy in Hillsboro. There's a tryout fee of $25.

Co-owner Rebecca Dawson says no experience is necessary.

"If you're a veteran, if you've played other sports, or if you have no experience, we'll teach you." She says you just need to show up in workout wear with something to hydrate you, and "a good attitude, ready to learn something new and play a team sport."

The team is always looking to grow its fan base. They'd love to see you at games and practices when the season begins in April.

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