Nicole Sarabia becomes first woman to play semi-pro football for Quad City Nighthawks

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 12:24 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) -The Quad City Nighthawks just made history.

“We’re sitting right now with a 6-2 record with our first home game our first home playoff game in program history, it’s kind of a big deal” said head coach Darryl Cross.

Leading the team onto the field for the playoff game was defensive end Nicole Sarabia, the first female to ever play for the Nighthawks

“I wanted to play semi pro with them and met at the first practice and you know coach Cross took a chance on me and I’m forever grateful for that” said Sarabia.

It’s an opportunity Nicole always wanted but one she didn’t get at Anamosa high school.

“I played flag football when I was in elementary school, I skipped middle school, I tried to play for the high school team and the coach said because I’m a girl I couldn’t play.”

The game is tough but Nicole is proving she belongs

“It’s been really challenging you know as a girl you got to prove yourself every single day, every single practice every game, I’ve had the other team make fun of me because I’m a girl, they didn’t take me seriously you know I kind of proved that I could hang out with guys, I could take a hit and I could make a hit.”

“You know I’m not surprised that she didn’t quit, because she’s not a quitter, but she takes some pretty good shots and she gets back up you know I’m proud of her” said coach Cross.

“She goes after what she wants and she’s not gonna let the fact that she’s a five foot tall lady stop her”.

“I want to inspire every young girl out there that I can to get into the field get into football, you know, show them that girls can be in man dominated sports” said Sarabia.

Of the many people Nicole inspires, there’s nobody she wants to inspire more than her two children.

“I love inspiring everybody, especially my kids you know to show them that they can do whatever they want to if they put their mind to it”.

The smallest player on this team, also has one of the biggest hearts.