Multi-sport star Lauran Ziegler provides a winning combination as coach

Considering that Lauran Ziegler is more than just an elite football player, such skills have translated into being able to inspire younger female athletes to pursue their sporting ambitions. Prior to first joining the now-defunct Orlando Fantasy in 2011, Ziegler had already been a multi-sport star.

From being a competitive skateboarder, winning events such as the Mountain Dew Free Flow tour, she also excelled on the diamond. Earning a softball scholarship at Brevard Community College, not only did she pursue her education, her blinding speed resulted in being ranked second in the nation in stolen bases, leading to a nod on the All-America team.

Eventually transferring to Florida Gulf Coast University, Ziegler was the recipient of the Scholar Athlete of the Year award. Currently serving on the coaching staff for the softball team at Brevard Community College, it has brought Ziegler’s athletic career full circle.

Although she still manages to balance coaching with a remarkable gridiron career that has seen her contribute to the Atlanta Steam’s run to the football postseason in 2015, a key component to being successful in both aspects is attributed to the Cross Fit fitness program.

Of note, she encourages her softball players to attend three workouts a week at Palm Bay CrossFit. The various disciplines in the fitness program includes more than just weightlifting with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells. Elements such as sprinting, rowing and numerous bodyweight exercises test one’s limits while allowing one measurable goals.

Having participated in CrossFit competitions, Ziegler is a firm believer of its benefits. Looking to provide a message of encouragement and motivation for her softball players and gridiron teammates, she attests to the notion that CrossFit can improve one’s performance, simultaneously achieving full potential mentally, physically and emotionally.

Atlanta Steam heartbreakers in record setting 79-0 win over Omaha

Considering that the defending two-time champion Chicago Bliss have moved into the same conference as the Atlanta Steam, a significant statement was made by the club in a convincing win. Going on the road against the Omaha Heart, the Steam not only dominated, but they managed to make history.

In a league record 79-0 win, a very talented Steam lineup dismantled a Heart franchise still looking for their first win of the 2015 indoor women’s football season. As a side note, the original score was 85-0, but a touchdown was revoked by the league office two days later.

Taking into account that the Heart have only three returning players from their 2014 season (which saw them qualify for the postseason), a winless season appears ominously possible. The vast majority of their offensive plays resulted in negative yardage.

Leanne Hardin, one of the team captains, anchored the Steam defensive unit, returning an interception for a touchdown. She would also record a game-high 8.5 tackles and gain recognition as the Steam’s Defensive Player of the Game. Of note, the defense would also record a safety, contributing eight points. In addition, a fumble was recovered a fumble on a night filled with forgettable turnovers for the Heart.

On offense, the Steam benefitted greatly from prized free agent acquisition Dina Wojowski. Equally proficient at the linebacker position, she is the crown jewel for the Steam’s offensive line, enabling sophomore Dakota Hughes to build on the momentum of her impressive 2014 season, which saw her gain 2014 Rookie of the Year honors.

Head coach Dane Robinson recognized Wojowski as the Steam’s Relentless Player of the Game. The other game honor went to Lauran Ziegler, who earned the nod as the Offensive Player of the Game. She would accumulate 59 combined yards from scrimmage (16 yards rushing, 43 yards receiving) while scoring four touchdowns (1 rushing, 3 receiving).

Running back Nas Johnson pounded the Heart defense with a 51-yard effort, including a game-high four rushing touchdowns. Rookie Jessie Locklear would contribute 19 points on the night, via a pair of touchdown returns and successfully converting on seven extra-point attempts.

While the Chicago Bliss currently sit at first overall in the conference (they would beat Omaha by a 49-0 score one week after Atlanta’s record breaking win), the Steam have shown that they are not a team to be taken lightly. As both clubs look towards a championship run, a postseason collision between the two will likely result.

References: Mike Del Rio