Schenectady, NY - Melissa Messemer has been playing some form of football her whole life and last year she decided to bring a semi professional women's tackle football team to Schenectady.
"It's an excellent opportunity that the Independent Women's Football League has offered us," said Messemer, owner and lineman for the New York Knockout. "It gives us the opportunity to do something that normally, at least people my age were always told they couldn't do."
The New York Knockout became the IWFL's newest team last year, and in their first season they proved themselves by winning a division title.
"We started from the ground up, and we've been lucky and successful," stated Messemer.
The IWFL follows NCAA football rules with very few exceptions. Anyone who attends a Knockout game will notice there's plenty of hits just like the men's game.
"This is the real deal," said Knockout center Charlene Pommer. "This is real football, there are helmets, shoulder pads, and it's competitive. You come to our home game and we're going to get you."
However, the cost of being a first year program means there are several challenges to overcome.
"Every time you go somewhere no one has any idea who you and they say, really there's a football here," said Messemer who also admits finances can be another tough spot for the team.
However, if the Knockout continue to win, the notoriety will come along with the financial support.
They will have their final game of the regular season Saturday, June 29th at 6pm at Schenectady High School, and they encourage fans to come and support them.