WESTON (WAOW) - In April, professional football will kickoff in Wausau. Players from the Wisconsin Wolves are hoping to raise some eyebrows.
Mark Dearth has been coaching football for more than 30 years, but still gets some puzzling looks when he tells people what he does.
"First thing they come up with is they think they're playing, like, powderpuff football, or flag football or that lingerie football" Dearth said. "I can guarantee it's none of that."
That's right. For the last 5 years, Dearth has been head coach for the Wisconsin Wolves, an all-women's, full contact football team.
"It's always I've wanted to do, ever since I was a little girl," player Peggy Johnson said. "I thought now or never."
"It's a lot better with women than it is with men," player Maria Dearth said.
"I started off coaching with them and once I saw the dedication and devotion these ladies present to the sport, I got hooked," Dearth said.
The Wolves got their start in Madison in 2006, but recently made the move to Wausau, where they'll kickoff the 2011 season in April.
The team held tryouts and its first practice at Greenheck Fieldhouse two weeks ago and each one of the 40 girls in attendance said they're excited to get to work.
"For it being the first year up here, it's incredible how the community has reacted to it," player Lisa Hochschild said.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Tiffany Adrians, who drove from LaCrosse to join the team. "There aren't many women's football teams around so when you get a chance to go for it, it's great for women all around. So, I think it's a great opportunity for women all around and it's hard to let it pass by."
And if you think these girls aren't ready to make a big hit, think again.
"It's not just some powderpuff, gonna tackle you, get you on the ground," Hochschild said. "They're gonna hit you hard and you're not gonna forget it."
"I don't know if we hit harder because we have to prove ourselves more, but sometimes I feel like I get hit harder by women than I did for the how many years I did with the guys."