Whitney Zelee ’06 is a natural. The rookie running back for the women’s professional tackle football team, the Boston Militia, was named Most Valuable Player of the national championship game in 2011.
Whitney ran for 101 yards and three touchdowns in the 34-19 win against the undefeated San Diego Surge, helping to secure the Militia’s title as the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) National Champion.
It was only two years ago when Whitney heard of women’s tackle football. She was cheering on a friend who played for a men’s semi-pro football team when the head coach, also a position coach for the Militia, told her she should try out. She attended a playoff game, and “became an instant fan,” she says.
“I had never played tackle football or flag football before, so I had a lot to learn,” she says. Whitney’s athleticism and sports experience at Winsor as captain of soccer, swimming and crew helped her get on her game. Being a rookie, she says, “brought me back to my freshman days on Winsor’s varsity soccer team. I was carrying balls, bringing out water and fighting for a spot in the locker room.” A small price to pay, she says, to be part of a championship team.
“My teammates and I practice two to three times a week for seven months out the year,” explains Whitney, who works as an allocation analyst for Talbots. “We love this game so much and want to see women’s football on the same platform as other professional women’s sports—that’s why we work as hard as we do.”
In April 2012, the Militia kicked off a new season at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, and Whitney says, “I would love to see some new faces in the stands!”