Jodie Nettles brings versatility and team spirit to Steam’s sophomore season

A charter member of the Atlanta Steam, Jodie Nettles embodies the competitive spirit that has transformed the nascent franchise into a postseason contender. Her strong leadership this year has proven to be one of the defining moments in her football career.

Experience as a backup quarterback with the Atlanta Xplosion, an outdoor football team, and qualifying for the roster of the indoor football Tampa Breeze in 2010, it is part of a bigger sporting picture that is filled with many empowering moments. Having carved her mark in track and field as the first female pole vaulter in Georgia Tech history,

Bringing remarkable versatility to the gridiron, Nettles was called upon to bring a greater leadership role in the Steam’s sophomore campaign. Considering that the club suffered player turnover, along with a head coaching change, there were concerns about the new-look club’s ability to perform on the field.

Photography by David Avent (http://www.photogdavid.net/)

Photography by David Avent (http://www.photogdavid.net/)

Nettles would set a positive tone with her remarkable team spirit. During training camp, rookie Dakota Hughes emerged as a contender for the starting quarterback job. As a side note, Las Vegas and Toledo would begin their indoor football season in 2014 with rookie signal callers. Defusing a quarterback controversy, Nettles showed great maturity by serving as a mentor for Hughes after she earned the starter’s nod.

Unexpectedly, Nettles would quickly find herself lining up behind centre. After her indoor football debut, Hughes’ season was sidelined by a wrist injury. Playing valiantly in the Steam’s season opener, a 20-13 win against the Omaha Heart, Hughes would connect with Nettles for two touchdown passes, including the game winning score.

Fan artwork by Dave Freewalt paying homage to football video games on 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (Obtained from Instagram)

Fan artwork by Dave Freewalt paying homage to football video games on 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (Obtained from Instagram)

With Nettles taking the reins for the Steam’s second game of its indoor football season, she would log 83 passing yards and two touchdown passes (to Dee Salter and Coco Montgomery) in a convincing 40-13 win against the Toledo Crush. Completing 50 percent of her passes, she would post an efficiency rating of 209.5. This season has seen Nettles emerge as a big play maker for the Steam, keeping the club in more than just the playoff picture, but a second straight division title.

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