Women's football team holds tryouts

Stormy Shroud moved to Modesto last May hoping to start a professional women's football team for which she could play and coach.

But the abuse of tackling running backs and receivers led to three knee surgeries, several concussions and broken ribs. That helped her make the decision to just be the coach.

"I thought, 'I'm over 40, and I have three kids,' " Shroud said. "Maybe I should just coach."

Shroud owns and coaches the Modesto Magic and will hold tryouts for the team's inaugural season Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at John Thurman Field.

The Magic is part of the National Women's Football Association, which started in 2000 and now has more than 40 teams.

Shroud expects 30-50 women to show up, and she can keep 55 players. "I've gotten crazy response," she said. "I've had about 20 e-mails, and people from the league have called about people, too."

Shroud said the main aspect she's looking for is athleticism.

"Can you move? I want to see people who can move," she said. "You don't have to know football. You got to have some sort of athletic ability."

The tryout costs $35, and players must bring proof of health insurance, workout clothing and water.

According to the league Web site, this is the first NWFA team in California and Shroud said it's trying to start more teams in the west. The Independent Women's Football League has teams in Sacramento and Santa Rosa.

She said the reason she started the team was to bring opportunity for women to play football.

The season starts in April.

Bee staff writer Scott Oxarart can be reached at or 578-2300.