Kelly Campbell back for a fifth fantastic season of football

A charter member of the Baltimore Charm, Kelly Campbell contributed three solid seasons with the club before relocating to Las Vegas. While the Sin football club are in a rebuilding mode, Campbell has provided a veteran presence which translated into a patient and dignified leadership.

Raised in Maryland, Campbell would graduate from Penn State University with a degree in Anthropology. Pulling double duty as a marketing manager for the Las Vegas Sin, she brings a strong business acumen to the franchise. Many of the Sin’s promotional appearances and efforts with non-profit organizations have been among Campbell’s efforts to reach out to the community.

Of note, she once served as the Director of Marketing the Legends Football League, helping expand the brand into regions such as Canada and Australia. She is among a group of empowering women proving that athletic women can have careers after the roar of the crowd.

Collage of Kelly Campbell through the years of her football career (Image obtained from Instagram)

Collage of Kelly Campbell through the years of her football career (Image obtained from Instagram)

Throughout her gridiron career, Campbell has enjoyed the luxury of playing alongside a pair of very popular and charismatic quarterbacks. From second-generation signal caller Angela Rypien in Baltimore to Sindy Cummings in Las Vegas, she has been surrounded by elite talent. Such talent has motivated her into becoming the leader she is today. From serving as a team captain with the Charm to gaining the league’s Most Improved Player of the Year Award in 2013, it constitutes an impressive body of work.

On statistics alone, Campbell may not appear on the leader board, but the reality is that such criteria cannot measure a player’s dedication or enthusiasm. Taking into account that Campbell is among a rare group of athletic women that have logged five seasons in the Legends Football League, her value to any team goes far beyond the numbers.

Having worked tirelessly to raise the profile of the sport from novelty to national obsession, the last five seasons have represented a labor of love for Campbell. Sharing her views on how the game has positively transformed her life on social media,

“What an incredible journey it has been, and still is. 5 years of memories: From the first tryout ever in 2010 for Baltimore, to Mexico, Canada and Australia, and of course LasVegas. Five years of wins and losses, amazing women and teammates, incredible coaches, fans and friends. So many people that will be in my life forever all because of the LFL.

Not to mention it brought me to my future. But football is so much more to me than I can express. It has helped me grow in numerous ways on and off the field. It has presented opportunities and when I look back on where I started, I am in disbelief of all that has happened for me personally, and as a league.

Seeing so many women come and go from the sport, not knowing the thousands of hours of practice, personal training, film study, painting bandanas (haha), promotional appearances, and on and on. You HAVE to be passionate to play. And to play at this level is a dream and I hope to continue to help pave the way for women in football.

Maybe one day my daughter will have options that are just wishes for me right now. Football has changed me for the better and I am grateful for the last 5 years.”

Kasey Carter emerges as an inspiring rookie footballer for the Seattle Mist

Heading into the Seattle Mist’s 2014 campaign, the proud indoor football franchise welcomed several new faces. In addition to five members from the British Columbia Angels getting onboard, featuring the sensational Smash Sisters of Stevi Schnoor and Deanna Schaper-Kotter, another new face breathed new life into the exciting franchise.

At 35 years young, Kasey Carter brought more than just a love of football to the gridiron. Her enthusiasm and determination set a positive example, proving to be one of the most inspiring rookies in league play this season. Showing that age is nothing more than a state of mind, Carter contributed to a Mist franchise that boasts one of the best team cultures in women’s football.

KCMist

Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Carter, who is employed as a nurse in ED, is also a mother. Joining the likes of fellow teammates (and mothers), Jessica Hopkins, second-generation football player Angela Rypien and quarterback Mary-Anne Hanson, who led the BC Angels to a championship in 2012, juggling family and football is a remarkable example of the empowerment that helps define all women’s sports.

Employing social media as a way of connecting with fans, it has added a special dimension to Carter’s rookie campaign. One of the most heartwarming aspects of her social media journey was a video she uploaded, where she is playing with her daughter. For many generations, a backyard scrimmage was traditionally reserved for father and son. Introducing her daughter to the game, it is part of a bold era in the game’s growth, proving that the future of football equally belongs to women.

Although Carter was relegated to the bench during the regular season, it did not diminish her role with the team. Of note, she was one of many proud Mist players that took part in the charity softball tournament of Super Bowl XLVIII Most Valuable Player (and Seattle Seahawks member) Malcolm Smith. While backup duties can be a difficult aspect for rookies and veterans alike, Carter showed great maturity and patience, the hallmark of a true team player. With the Mist having qualified for a postseason berth, hope was not yet lost for Carter to grace the gridiron. Making a tackle in a visceral postseason loss to the rival Los Angeles Temptation, it was a time of great elation and validation for the inspiring rookie. Should she decide to continue and pursue her football dream, her perseverance stands as a shining beacon to never stop believing.

Angela Rypien returns to her roots with second stint as Seattle Mist quarterback

As the Seattle Mist look to build on the momentum of their undefeated regular season in 2013, fans can expect a familiar face lining up behind center. After a one-year stint with the Baltimore Charm, Angela Rypien has returned to her roots in the Pacific Northwest.

The daughter of former Washington Redskins quarterback (and Super Bowl XXVI Most Valuable Player) Mark Rypien, Angela was not able to duplicate her father’s championship efforts in the Capital Beltway. Despite a postseason appearance in 2013 for the Baltimore Charm, the latter half of the season saw Rypien share quarterback duties and eventually lose her starting job.

Although she remains one of the Legends Football League’s most popular draws, she has a lot to prove in the 2014 campaign. While the 2013 season would appear as a step back in the development of Rypien as an elite signal caller, it is possible that playing in the region where her father established his football legacy may have been too much pressure for her. Ironically, her head coach in Baltimore was Gary Clark, one of Rypien’s teammates (and wide receivers) on the Super Bowl XXVI championship team.

Of note, she had committed to competing for the Calgary expansion franchise before the 2013 LFL Canada season folded. While Calgary was the birthplace of her father, Rypien certainly showed she was prepared to keep working on improving her game and sharpening her skills.

Returning to her home state of Washington for the 2014 campaign may be the fresh start she needs to prove the doubters wrong. Despite having to replace the departed Laurel Creel, who had a breakthrough season in 2013 as the Mist quarterback, Rypien has had experience playing for the Mist and their head coach, Chris Michaelson, one of the league’s finest.

Seattle definitely has a strong team dynamic and superlative chemistry, easing a lot of pressure that may have accompanied Rypien had she played for another franchise in the league. Despite the pressure for the proud Mist franchise to win its first-ever championship, Rypien is in a position where she does not have to shoulder the burden by herself.

Complemented by the presence of Jessica Hopkins, a surefire future LFL Hall of Famer, as one of the Mist’s leaders, it is that type of strong leadership that may help contribute to building Rypien’s confidence. Lining up behind center for the Mist’s home opener on May 3, Rypien definitely appeared more comfortable than she ever did in Baltimore.

With a convincing 38-24 victory against the Green Bay Chill, returning home is certainly a step in the right direction towards resurrecting Rypien’s promising career. Considering that her father only won a pro football championship in his fourth season as a starting quarterback, sometimes the expectations have been too high in her career. Should she help the Mist franchise realize its dream of capturing that elusive championship, her comeback would certainly stand as one of the great feel-good stories in league history.