Breaking Barriers on the Field: The Rise of the Nebraska Pride in Women’s Football

Breaking Barriers on the Field: The Rise of the Nebraska Pride in Women’s Football

Nebraska Pride: A Rising Power in the Women’s Football Alliance

The Nebraska Pride is a professional women’s tackle football team based in Omaha, part of the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) – the longest-running professional women’s football league in the US​1​. The Pride is not just a football team; it’s a testament to resilience, a beacon of inclusivity, and an example of true team spirit in the world of sports. This article delves into the journey of this remarkable team and its recent achievements in the 2023 season.

A History of Resilience and Growth

The Nebraska Pride has faced its share of challenges. After a debut season with a balanced 3-3 record, the team’s championship dream was cut short with a 30-7 playoff loss to the Houston Energy in June of the following year. This setback, however, was seen as an opportunity to rebuild and grow stronger​2​.

The team’s structure mirrors that of college athletics, with the WFA divided into three divisions based on skill. Despite being a first-year program, with most of its players having little to no football experience, the Pride managed to finish their first season as the No. 3 ranked Division II team​3​.

Building a New Season with Fresh Talent

Heading into its second season, the Pride’s roster has doubled to 43 women and non-binary players, with half of the team returning for another year. The team operates as a non-profit, and each player contributes to their travel and training fees, which amount to approximately $1,000 per season​4​.

Most players join with a background in athletics, but football experience is rare. Yet, the lack of experience doesn’t deter the players, who are united by their love for the sport and their desire to challenge norms. For instance, returning defensive end Ang Bennett was looking to join a basketball team when they moved to Omaha but ended up trying out for women’s tackle football and became a vital part of the team​5​.

Team Spirit and Inclusivity: The Hallmarks of Nebraska Pride

The Nebraska Pride stands apart for its unique team culture. The coaching staff and players are committed to creating an environment where everyone feels welcomed and accepted as they are. This sense of community has been instrumental in the team’s success. As Bennett put it, “You’re only as strong as your weakest player… In order to bring the weak player up, everybody has to be willing to go down there and lift that person up”​6​.

To bolster the team’s growth, Head Coach Nancy Javaux-Major brought five new assistant coaches on board for the 2023 season, including offensive and defensive coordinators who bring years of football experience and help balance the coaching staff’s personalities​7​.

Rising Against Odds: The 2023 Season

The 2023 season has been a testament to the team’s resilience and growth. Their performance this year has been a mixed bag, with impressive wins against the Iowa Phoenix (26-0) and the Oklahoma Rage (42-6), but challenging losses against the Minnesota Vixen (55-12) and the OKC Lady Force (32-12)​8​.

Despite the hurdles, the players remain undeterred. Wide receiver Tiffany Wright, who grew up playing football, uses her experiences as motivation to prove herself on the field. Her message to those who doubt the capabilities of women in football is clear: “Just because we’re not men doesn’t mean we can’t do the same things as men… come watch us; let us prove you wrong”​9​.

The Nebraska Pride continues to embody resilience, inclusivity, and team spirit. As they move forward, they remain a symbol of how far determination and unity can take a team, regardless of the challenges they face.

Looking Ahead

The team’s upcoming matches against the Minnesota Vixen and the Sioux Falls Snow Leopards will be crucial. The Nebraska Pride, with its increasing player skills and reinforced coaching staff, is more than capable of showing the league what they are made of​1​.

The Pride has shown that it’s not just about winning games, but also about growing as individuals and as a team. The players and coaching staff are dedicated to personal growth and competition, understanding that the journey is just as important as the destination.


The Nebraska Pride is more than a football team; it’s a community that welcomes diversity, promotes equality, and defies social norms. This team has shown that football is not just a man’s sport, and they continue to inspire others with their resilience, dedication, and tenacity.

The Nebraska Pride’s journey is a testament to what a group of determined individuals can achieve when they stand together. As they continue to break barriers and redefine the norms of football, their story will remain an inspiration to many, both on and off the field.

In the words of Tiffany Wright, “Just because we’re not men doesn’t mean we can’t do the same things as men. We’re all out here putting in the hard work, effort, energy, focus, and time.” Indeed, the Nebraska Pride is not just playing football; they are redefining it, one game at a time​2​.

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