Football in Toledo before the Troopers] [Toledo
Troopers] [Toledo Furies]
Taken from the article "Girls Football" in the Toledo Blade,
Sept. 5, 1978.
In 1930 and 1931, there were two Toledo-based women's tackle football teams
that barnstormed through the Midwest playing exhibition games against each
other. One team was coached by Herman Metzger and the other by Dick Lazette.
These women's football teams wore uniforms previously used by the Shank-Cobley
little league football team.
According to the 1978 Toledo Blade article, "The first game was
a financial success and the project went in the black." However, there was
quite a bit of resistance to the idea of women playing tackle football. One
scheduled game at the University of Detroit was canceled due to objections
raised by university officials. Finally, the two Toledo women's football teams
were disbanded when First Lady Mrs. Herbert Hoover sent a scathing letter
accusing Mr. Metzger and Mr. Lazette of exploiting womanhood. It would be until
1971 before another women's tackle football team was attempted in Toledo.
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- Founded in July 1971
- Years Played: 1971 to
- Team Colors: Kelly Green
and White in 1971; Kelly Green and Gold 1972 to 1979
- Head Coaches: Bill
Stout, 1971 to 1977; Mike Stout, 1978 to 1979.
- General Manager: Bill
- Co-owner: Ken Dippman
- In the summer of 1971, 80
young women signed up for a new women's football team called the Toledo
Troopers. Of those 80, 45 showed up for the first practice. By Opening
Day, the roster was pared down to 25.
- During their inaugural
season, the Toledo Troopers mostly played out of the T formation when on
- Game One: Toledo won
at Cleveland, 46-16.
- Game Two: In a game
played at Rossford High School in Toledo, the Troopers defeated a women's
football team from Buffalo, 30-6.
- In the Buffalo game, Toledo's
Pat Farrell had the Women's Professional Football League's first
successful point-after-touchdown kick since 1966.
- Game Three: Toledo
defeated Cleveland, 30-6, before a crowd of 2200. The game was sponsored
by the Whitmer High School Boosters Club.
- In one of the games versus
Cleveland, quarterback Lee Hollar threw a pass 45 yards in the air to Judy
Verbosky, who then gained another 25 yards for a touchdown.
- 1971 won-loss record:
3 wins, 0 losses.
- The 1971 Toledo Troopers'
team awards went to the following:
- Team MVP: Judy
Verbosky, a high school senior who rushed for 500+ yards
- Best Offensive
Player: Lee Hollar
- Best Defensive
Player: Nannette Wolf
- Most Improved
Player: Pam Schwartz
1971 Toledo Troopers Roster
No. Name Ht. Wt. Pos.
Pat Farrell K
73 Pam Schwartz 5'10" 170 DT
76 Lynn Burrows
10 Lee Hollar 5'10" QB
24 Sh. Marinfield
74 Karen Kelley
42 Nannette Wolf
50 Sheila Browne
62 Diana Skiles
30 Judy Verbosky 120 HB
22 Lynni Jaress
32 Peggy Dauer
34 Connee Miller
40 Sharon Browne
82 Carol Finn
- The 1972 schedule called for
four games at Sylvania high School and one each at Bowling Green (Ohio)
High School and Swanton High School.
- Linda Jefferson joined the
Troopers this season. Her stats were as follows: 1388 yards on 83 carries,
194 total points scored (32 touchdowns and one extra point conversion
run), and 9 receptions for 252 yards.
- Toledo opened the 1973
season with a 43-0 win over Detroit. Linda Jefferson carried the ball 9
times for 189 yards.
- Toledo played a game at
Dallas versus the Bluebonnets
- The Troopers held all their
opponents scoreless in 1973.
- 1974 won-loss record:
5 wins, 0 losses. Three of the five wins were shutouts.
- Rookies on the 1974 Toledo
Troopers included halfback/middle linebacker Verna Henderson,
flanker/safety/quarterback Sue Crawford (#11, 5'2", 110 lbs.), and
running back Ruth Zuccarell (#24).
- Following is an account of
the Troopers' 1974 home opener versus the Columbus Pacesetters, as taken
from the article "Coming of Age on Colony Field," by Tom Lorenz
in the (Toledo) Blade Sunday Magazine, Nov. 10, 1974: pages 4-14:
receives the opening kickoff. Sunday Jones fields the kick and runs for the
sideline before giving a reverse hand-off to Linda Jefferson, who then runs the
ball in for a touchdown. Columbus fumbles the ensuing kickoff and Toledo
recovers. Running back Ramelle Smith then scores for Toledo on a 20-yard run.
After less than five minutes, Toledo leads 13-0.
finally runs its first play from scrimmage, an unsuccessful up-the-middle carry
by Lisa Perez. Sunday Jones gets the next Toledo score, and it is soon 20-0 in
favor of the Troopers.
a Columbus fumble, Linda Jefferson scores on a sweep play. (Toledo 26, Columbus
another Columbus miscue, Ruth Zuccarell scores her first touchdown. Score at
end of first quarter: Toledo 32, Columbus 0.
Tom Lorenz: "The ground game worked so well that Lee Hollar rarely had to
throw the ball. Part of the Pacesetters problem was that they just didn't seem
to want to get in there and tackle, often grabbing and hanging on while
Jefferson drove forward, legs churning, until seven or eight teammates showed
up and finally surrounded her and forced her down by sheer weight."
finally crosses Toledo territory just before half-time when Lisa Perez runs the
ball in for a touchdown. But Toledo quickly responds with a fifty yard Linda
Jefferson touchdown run. Half-time score: Toledo 51, Columbus 7.
Tom Lorenz: "The second half was much more evenly played. The Pacesetters
. . .hit much harder, tackled better, and committed fewer errors."
scores on a Lisa Perez touchdown pass.
Jackie Allen blocks a punt and runs it in for a touchdown.
Jefferson scores another touchdown.
score: Toledo 51, Columbus 14.
- The scores of the Troopers'
five games were as follows: 53-0, 69-14 over the Columbus Pacesetters,
47-0, 50-0, and 30-8 at Buffalo.
- Other members of the 1974
Toledo Troopers included Cheril Martin (#60), Bev Severance, Michelle
"Mitchi" Collette (#85), and Iris Smith (#79).
- The Troopers' record after
four seasons was 20 wins and 0 losses.
- Twenty women reported to
the Troopers' 1975 rookie camp; 10 of those women survived "basic
training" and made the team.
- 1975 won-loss record:
8 wins, 0 losses.
- Home games were played at
Waite Stadium this season.
- On August 30, the Troopers
defeated the Columbus Pacesetters 25-6 in Columbus.
- The Troopers' home opener
was on September 13 versus the Columbus Pacesetters.
- The Troopers' record after
five seasons was 28 wins, 0 defeats.
- The Troopers' 1975 season
awards banquet was held on Tuesday, January 6, 1976 at Earl's Steak House.
The winners were as follows:
- Most Valuable
Player: Linda Jefferson
- Rookie of the
Year: Dorothy Parma
- Top Defensive
Back: Sunday Jones
- Top Defensive
Lineperson: Gloria Jiminez
- Top Offensive
Lineperson: Eunice White
view a picture of the Toledo Trooper Booster Club’s T-shirt, click here.
- On August 22, the Troopers
suffered their first-ever defeat. It came versus the Oklahoma
- The following week (August
29), Linda Jefferson carried the ball 19 times for 161 yards and
quarterback Pam Hardy completed 2 of her 10 passes for 41 yards as the
Troopers defeated the Columbus Pacesetters.
- Linda Jefferson scored 21
touchdowns in 1976.
- Toledo's team payrolls in
1975 and 1976 totaled a mere $2000 each year.
Toledo Troopers Roster
No Name Ht. Wt. Pos.
11 Pam Hardy 5' 100 QB
12 Jennie Jimenez 5'5" 130 QB
21 Dorothy Parma 4'11" 120 HB
27 Ruth Zuccarell 5'3" 125 G
29 Brenda Baskins 5' 130 HB
32 Ramelle Smith 5'6" 130 HB
36 V. Henderson 5'6" 140 G
41 Sunday Jones 6'1" 150 S-FL
44 Virg. Van Hook 4'8" 90 HB
48 Linda Jefferson 5'4" 130 HB
50 Joellyn Opfer 5'6" 135 C
60 Carla Miller 5'2" 150 G
62 Aldah Wilhems
65 Pam Nagle 5'6" 140 T
66 Tina Pirtle 5'4" 125 FL
71 Gloria Jiminez 5'6" 200 Tackle
73 Pam Schwartz 5'10" 170 Tackle
79 Iris Smith 5'7" 160 Tackle
80 Eunice White 5'9" 175 Tackle
85 M. Collette 5'7" 150 Guard
89 Brigitte Hartz 5'6" 130 End
Vicki Seel 220 DL
Eula Streeter 180 DL
- The Troopers opened their
home season with a game versus the Columbus Pacesetters.
- Linda Jefferson scored four
touchdowns in each of the Troopers' first two games and rushed for a total
of 369 yards.
- Linda Jefferson scored all
four touchdowns in the Troopers' 26-6 win at Detroit.
- On September 17, the
Troopers defeated the Middletown Mavericks 62-0.
- On October 1, Toledo
defeated Columbus 35-6.
- Linda Jefferson was
interviewed on NBC's Today on November 4, 1977.
- The Toledo Troopers defeated
the Oklahoma City Dolls, 25-14, in the NWFL Championship Game in November.
Linda Jefferson scored four touchdowns in the game.
- As of November 5, 1977, the
Toledo Troopers had only allowed 26 points all season.
- In their 1977 home games,
the Troopers outscored their opponents 301-0.
- In 1977, the Troopers
regularly scored on their first possession. In three of their games, the
Troopers scored on their very first play from scrimmage; in the other five
games, they scored within five plays of getting the ball for the first
- Linda Jefferson rushed for
1824 yards on 101 carries and scored 35 touchdowns in 1977.
- The Troopers' record
after seven years was 47 wins and only one defeat.
- 1978 won-loss record:
8 wins, 1 loss
- Longtime Troopers head
coach Bill Stout was named commissioner of the National Women's Football
League in July 1978. His brother, Mike Stout, became the new head coach.
- The Troopers played an
exhibition game versus the Middletown Mavericks on August 26. The
Troopers' scheduled game versus the Detroit Demons was canceled when the
latter team folded.
- The Troopers opened the
1978 season with a 20-0 win over the Columbus Pacesetters before a crowd
of 3150 at Waite Stadium. In the game, Ramelle Smith ran the ball 15 times
for 137 yards and scored two touchdowns, one on a five-yard run in the
third quarter and the other on a 64-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
Sunday Jones scored on a 21-yard interception return. Quarterback Pam
Hardy completed two of her 14 passes for 38 yards.
- 1979 won-loss record:
4 wins, 2 losses (3-1 in the regular season)
- Rookies on the 1979 Toledo
Troopers team included flanker Joy Langendorfer, who was a senior at
Bowsher High School that year, wide receiver Karen Mayer, tackle Becky
Redman, and running back Sherry Dotson. Other players on the team that
year included defensive end Jayne Haley and offensive linewoman Judie
- The Troopers opened the 1979
regular season on September 15 with a 30-12 loss to the Columbus
- On Sept. 22, Linda Jefferson
ran for 147 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns in the Troopers
20-8 victory over the Middletown Mavericks.
- After finishing second in
the NWFL's Northern Division, the Troopers defeated the Middletown
Mavericks in an opening round playoff.
- The following week, the
Troopers lost to the Columbus Pacesetters in the NWFL Northern Division
Championship. It would be the Toledo Troopers' last ever game.
- Final all-time record for
the Toledo Troopers: 59 wins, 4 losses.
here for Toledo Troopers pictures.
- As of April 1980, the Toledo
Troopers NWFL franchise was put up for sale. Team co-owner Ken Dippman
told the Toledo Blade the following: "We have had very good
support in the past from the business community and from our fans. But
we're now faced with a lack of institutional support. Maybe it's because
the economy is in a downturn."
- Toledo did not field another
NWFL team until 1983.
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- Inaugural Season: 1983
- Head Coach: Dave
- Joellyn Opfer, who played
for the Toledo Troopers and Furies, was president of the Furies' principal
non-profit sponsor, Women in Team Sports, Inc.
- Players on the Toledo Furies
included the following: receiver Francella Washington, quarterback Sue
Nuesmeyer, running back/receiver/defensive back Keely Miller, running back
Dorothy Parma, running back Sherry Dotson, defensive tackle Gloria
Jiminez, and defender Tangie Walton.
- In a 1983 season-opening
loss to Columbus, Francella Washington returned a kickoff 88 yards for a
touchdown. She also caught five passes for 53 yards.
- The Toledo Furies stared the
1984 season 6-0. Their sixth win of the season was a 40-13 triumph over
the Cleveland Brewers on September 29. Francella Washington scored three
touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving.
- The Furies hosted the 1984
NWFL Championship Game on November 3.
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