Girls are ‘part of the team’ for FLC football – The Journal

Interns help the program while learning job skills

Fort Lewis football interns Averi Basso, Karla De La Cruz and Madison Carlton have helped the program with its day-to-day operations while learning its ins and outs this spring. (Cody Olivas/Durango Herald)

When Fort Lewis College junior Averi Basso was looking for an internship this semester, her advisor suggested she work with the football team, focusing on compliance recruiting.

Basso, who plays lacrosse for the Skyhawks and wants to get into sports psychology after graduating, took a chance. She said she loves football, noting that her father played college football and her brother played college football. Being involved in the male-dominated sport made her a little nervous, but those worries quickly faded away.

“I thought it was going to be intimidating, but it’s been awesome,” Basso said. “All the coaches are super awesome and supportive of their female trainees. It’s a great working environment.”

Basso is one of three female trainees in the program. Junior Madison Carlton, who also cheers for the Skyhawks, and senior cross country and track runner Karla De La Cruz are also trainees on the team.

“They work directly with me on day-to-day operations,” FLC head coach Johnny Cox said. In general, interns have helped raise funds, recruit athletes, and take them on campus tours; provide information to incoming freshmen; attend meetings and take notes; and give feedback on potential players.

In the fall, incoming recruit Alyssa Johnson will also intern in the program. Johnson, who played football for four years at Vista PEAK Prep in Aurora, comes to Fort Lewis because she wants to coach football.

“I’m extremely excited,” Johnson said. “I hope to learn how a football team works; what offensive and defensive coordinators do and how to be a head coach.

Johnson also wants to make connections to help him in the future. One of her connections, her former coach and current FLC defensive backs coach, Emmanuel Bible, helped persuade her to participate in FLC.

In general, Cox said he was starting to see more women involved in soccer programs. He called it “a sign of the changing times”.

“I have four daughters, and when they were born I didn’t think they could coach with me,” he said. “Now that times are changing, there is a possibility that I can train with my daughters. People have unlimited possibilities when given the opportunity.

Carlton grew up as a football fan and was happy to help the Fort team. “I’m from Oklahoma and football is a huge part of life there,” she said. “I felt it was a great opportunity when it presented itself. I really like it; it really opened my eyes to the amount of detail in the program and how much the coaches put into it.

Carlton, like Basso, wants to get into sports psychology.

“I want to get into sports psychology and focus on football – the mental health side and the nutritional side,” Carlton said. “I want to be another helping hand.”

She said FLC’s cheerleading program is “relatively similar” to football’s.

“They’re both running a pretty tight ship, and all of the athletes are pretty tight-knit,” she said.

In addition to attending meetings, taking notes and helping with equipment, Carlton helped the team recruit rookies.

“If we’re not the first faces they see, we’re the second,” Carlton said. “We keep their packages together and take them on tour. We really want to bring them here.

De La Cruz, who is minoring in coaching, said the internship helped her learn more about football and that she would “love to coach” after graduating.

“I love how different it is,” De La Cruz said. “In cross country and track, all the coaches do is tell you to go run. Football is more complex.

Basso, meanwhile, was commissioned to create a poster explaining why she, as an athlete, chose Fort Lewis.

The town of Durango itself, she said, was a big reason she chose Fort Lewis. “I left my tour thinking this is where I’m supposed to be for college,” Basso said. “It’s one of the nicest places I’ve seen, and meeting the girls on the team, it was such a positive environment.”

Johnson, who has described his former teammates as “a whole bunch of big brothers,” enjoys analyzing footage, researching other teams’ routes, protections, formations, movements and tendencies.

“We’re looking for little things to give the defense an edge so they know what they’re looking for,” she said.

To be a good lineman, she said, “it’s all about footwork and hand placement and using leverage.”

Cox said there’s kind of a barrier for girls wanting to get involved in football since most don’t play the sport, but said: “There are a lot of great coaches who are men who weren’t playing football or weren’t doing very well.” He said the players are open to advice from anyone as long as it makes them better.

“When you communicate clearly and concisely and you’re right, if you can help a player, they don’t care where the advice is coming from,” Cox said.

The interns, he said, really help the program.

“When you give people an opportunity and they succeed, it opens the door for the next person,” Cox said. “They have been an asset to the program and I am delighted that they are taking advantage of this opportunity. They are part of the team. »

Fort Lewis football interns, from left, Madison Carlton, Karla De La Cruz and Averi Basso have been assets to the program. (Cody Olivas/Durango Herald)

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