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Aug 24, 2018 Main

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2017 Andrea Hollingsowrth 2Andrea 'Dre' Hollingsworth just completed her first season with the Carson Bobcats who play in the Independent Women's Football League (IWFL). Her team lost to Utah Falconz, 26-0 when the game was stopped in the second quarter due to heat in the first-round of the playoffs.

Hollingsworth is one of the four Deaf women known to be playing semi-pro football this year. The other three are LeAnn Avalos (Corpus Christi Divas), Cassie Cantu and Erika Mendiola who play for the South Texas Generals.

Jose Amador recently sat down with Andrea 'Dre' Hollingsworth for a videophone interview before her team traveled to Utah for the playoffs.

Jose: Hello. I would like to thank you for your time to interview with me.

Andrea: Hello. I am honored to be here with you.

Jose: What is your name? And where are you from?

Andrea: My name is Andrea Hollingsworth and I am from Los Angeles, California.

Jose: Wow, I can’t spell your last name. It’s a long last name.

2017 Andrea Hollingsworth 1Andrea: (laughing) yes.

Jose: Who are you playing for?

Andrea: Carson Bobcats in Los Angeles.

Jose: What is your position?

Andrea: Linebacker and defensive end.

Jose: What made you decide to join women football league?

Andrea: It was an opportunity for me to join football team and my feeling is that it’s a great experience being a role model. I am showing the Deaf community that I can play football. I want to encourage more Deaf female players to join women football league.

Jose: What is your Carson Bobcats record?

Andrea: 6-3.

Jose: I see your upcoming game against undefeated Utah Falconz this Saturday in the 1st-round playoffs. The Falconz won the 2016 IWFL Championship. What is your game plan?

Andrea: Well, my plan game is try to play best defense against their offense and they always score high against other teams. I hope my team is ready to take a challenge and keep the score close instead of a shutout like 50-0. She said our team was the only one to score high against them but lost in a regular season game.

Jose: What is your experience when you play defense?

Andrea: Wow, this is difficult to tell you. The first game, I didn’t play much because of no communication with the coaches and I tried to learn how to play defense. Next game, my coaches started to learn sign language a little and try to communicate with me during defense. I’m glad I can play a lot.

Jose: Yes, you are not the only one, there are other Deaf female players from Texas and they do have communication problems with their coaches too. Did you know they play in Texas?

Andrea: I didn’t know. I thought there was one player from Washington D.C.

Jose: Oh yeah, her name is Tasha Lemke and she moved to Austin.

Andrea: Oh wow.

Jose: There are two Deaf players and one SODA playing for the South Texas Generals and one Deaf player is playing for Corpus Christi Divas. They did play against each other earlier this season. Like Utah Falconz, a powerhouse from San Antonio, Texas Legacy is now 7-0 and are undefeated champions for the past three years. I think Houston Texas Lady Jaguars (5-1) is the only team that can defeat San Antonio Texas Legacy in the championship game. But the South Texas Generals are improving a lot and they can take a challenge against the Houston Texas Lady Jaguars before advancing in the championship game.

Andrea: Oh I always wanted to play against other Deaf women. Maybe one day. This is a cool story about the San Antonio Texas Legacy. Our opponent is the Utah Falconz. This is not an easy team to defeat but we will do our best.

Jose: I believe one Deaf player will be selected to the All-Star game. Her name is Cassie Cantu. She is good and is in her first year with the Generals. Does your league have an All-Star game?

Andrea: Yes, they do have an All-Star game. I hope to play in an All-Star game one day.

Jose: Is that a 11-woman or 8-woman football in your league? They are playing for 8-woman league.

Andrea: 11-woman.

Jose: 8-woman team have 30 players and your 11-woman have 50 or something?

Andrea: Yes, between 40-50 players.

Jose: Will you return and play next year? Andrea: Yes for sure! I am addicted to playing football and cross-fit. I love both.

Jose: What is your purpose for fund raising?

Andrea: When we found out that we will be playing against Utah Falconz in the playoffs. We are excited but travel expense is not easy because we live in California and our living expense is too high. We are trying to work on our fundraising. We need to earn money to pay for transportation, hotel and food. We will drive to Utah for 11 hours on Friday. I hope anyone can donate or support our team.

Jose: I will share your link and spread the word. Wish you good luck this Saturday!

Andrea: Thank you! And thank you for having me today.

Carson Bobcats Playoff Fundraiser

Carson Bobcats Team Website

SportsMX video feature on Tasha Lemke with the DC Divas

Photos courtesy of Andrea Hollingsworth.