It’s safe to say no other Miami Valley moms will be celebrating this Mothers Day weekend quite the way Shawanna Woods and her two daughters, 22-year old Shanice Bailey and 21 year old Kaleshia Bailey - both of whom are mothers themselves — will.
All three - members of the Dayton Diamonds women’s football team - will be knocking heads with the Toledo Reign tonight in a Women’s Football Alliance game in Toledo.
The women are just three of at least a dozen mothers on the Diamonds roster. Shawanna played three sports at Middletown High. Shanice played volleyball at Colonel White and Kaleshia was a four-sport athlete at Thurgood Marshall High.
“When guys hear I’m playing football,” said Shanice, “they’re like, ‘Football? What some type of Peewee football?’ I say ‘Noooooo it’s a women’s professional league.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh my God, you‘re serious! We gotta come see it.’ Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. But those who show up, they’re shocked. Really shocked.”
The Diamonds are also the subject of my column in today’s newspaper. And as one of the veterans of the team, Karen Huff, a mother of two girls, once told me: “You can’t say we’re average moms “Not when it comes to working a job, taking care of your home AND football maybe three times a week.”
The Diamonds have two home games left this season. May 21 they play West Michigan. June 11 they play Detroit. Both games are at 7 p.m. at Northmont High — the Diamonds home field. To find out more about the Diamonds website or see more of Rodney Kuschel’s photos check out www.daytondiamonds.net. You can also see Kuschel’s work at rodsactionphoto,photoreflect.com
If you are wondering about the Diamonds nickname, owner Tanya Jackson said it has nothing to do with the Centerville strip club of the same name.
“We keep our clothes on,” she said with a grin.
Nor, she said, is it a play on the city’s Gem City nickname.
It’s real simple,” said Jackson. “All women love diamonds.”
And as Shanice Bailey put it, if men come out to watch them play, they’ll love the Diamonds, too.Tweet