From the Division I level to the high school and semi-professional levels, El Paso is home to quite a few football programs, but something new is on its way. The Sun City Stealth will become the area’s first ever professional women’s football team.
“We are very excited to bring this team to the El Paso area,” Stealth co-owner Derek Smith told The Gridiron Grind.
The team recently launched a group on Facebook to gauge player interest, which quickly grew to nearly 100 women.
“We have received tremendous response and interest from social media and we haven’t even officially announced what league we will be in or what classification we will have. We are looking forward to building an awesome foundation for women, men and children all over the region.”
“We are ready to do big things and be involved in not only women’s tackle football, but also within the community. We have a great staff of management professionals, consultants and coaches who have years of experience in local youth, high school, semi-pro, arena and women’s football in the surrounding areas. In the near future, we will be holding tryouts, community events, practices and games.”
The Stealth will play a season of six to eight, 11 on 11, full contact, tackle football games with 12 to 15 minute quarters as members of the Women’s Football Association, which officially announced their membership on Thursday. The WFA uses NCAA rules with a few modified exceptions, Smith said.
“We will be playing teams from around New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and many other potential teams around the nation,” Smith said.
As start-ups and sports teams of all levels learn, community involvement is key and that’s something the Stealth will prioritize from the beginning.
“We want to be actively involved in the community,” Smith said. “We hope that we can gain the trust and support of the local areas to help us build a strong and successful program. We also want to go out there and show other teams what Sun City Stealth Tackle Football is all about. Not only do we want to win with the community, but we want to win and be successful on the field.
“We will be working closely with local non-profit organizations, youth organizations and public entities that will help to better the overall quality of life for the team and people who are involved, directly or indirectly.”
Of all the potential mascots, both common and original, why did they decide to go with the name Stealth?
“We wanted to be different,” Smith said. “When you hear the word Stealth, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A plane, right? Well, in our case we decided to have an owl for our mascot. Not only is an owl stealthy, but they are wise. They are hunters and, in old local folklore, they represent bad luck to those who cross them. Also, we wanted to combine another stealthy figure with the owl – a ninja. The combination of the two make for a perfect combo to sneak up on teams undetected, silently, and effectively to handle their business. And besides, what kid doesn’t like a ninja?”
Smith is no stranger to the football scene. For the past three years he was part of the West Texas Lions men’s football team and the Las Cruces Kings before that, in addition to the women’s football team in Las Cruces.
“I’ve always been an advocate for equality, fairness and sportsmanship throughout the years,” Smith said. “My previous experiences with different aspects of football and community relations enabled me to put together a good group that is in it for all the right reasons. Personally, I have been part of successful teams and of course, non successful teams. Fortunately, we can always learn from our experiences and help build a better future from the wins and losses that life has dealt us in the past. I am very confident in our staff and coaches.”
Game times and sites will be released at a later date, but fans can stay plugged in to the Stealth’s Facebook page for the latest information.
“Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or at www.suncitystealth.com and send us a message,” Smith said.
Sun City Stealth Staff
Owner/CXO: Derek Smtih
Owner/CBO: Robert Rodriguez
General Manager: Iris Ruiz
Assistant General Manager: Jamar Cotton
Head Coach: Fonzie Gomez
Defensive Coordinator: Bill Parker
Assistant Coaches: Manny Acosta, Jeff Turnbull, Ray Penn, Tay Collier, German Hernandez
Statistician: Alex Rodriguez
Media/Public Relations: Mike Tipton
Graphics/Web Design: Pat Montelongo
Marketing: Michelle “Mica” Hernandez
Photographer: Caleb Lara
Consultant: Chris Babcock