Get Fit RVA: Whitney works out with Richmond Black Widows

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Whitney continues the Get Fit RVA series with a workout with the region’s only female tackle football team. She said she knows nothing about football, and she had no choice but to learn quickly.

The team starts with a run and warmups and the coach means business.

“I’m a retired prison warden,” said offensive coordinator Harris Diggs. “I was a warden in Virginia. I was with the Department of Corrections for 35 years, I’ve been coaching football for 30 years.”

And these women are very tough.

“It’s regular football that you would see at any level,” Diggs said. “Our athletes come from different walks of life. We have college professors, we have nurses, we have housewives, we have teachers and most of them at one time or another have been high school or college athletes.”

“It just takes a lot of heart really, and teamwork,” added Savannah Sargent, a wide receiver/safety on the Richmond Black Widows team.

Whitney tried to catch the ball. She almost caught it, but it fell to the ground as she screamed. But, on the second try, she caught it!

“How do you think I’m doing?” Whitney asked wide receiver coach and assistant head coach Brian West, also known as “Coach Bleep.”

“You’re doing well,” he said. “You caught several of the passes out here. You’re actually going at full speed, you’re catching the ball with your hands, and you’re turning up the field once you catch it. Those are great things. You have some people who just stop.”

But he did say there are some things Whitney needed to work on.

“We’re going to have to work on foot placement. When you’re running up with your pass patterns, you’ve got to plant your foot in whatever direction you’re going to,” he said.

Sonia Austin-Moore is one of the team’s wide receivers and defensive backs.

Photo: Sonia Austin-Moore

“I love football,” she said. “I’m a Giant’s fan.”

She said she thought Whitney was a new player on the team until she heard her scream.

“Your scream gave it away when you were going up for the pass but you did an amazing job,” she said.

And Sargent agrees.

“I think you’re doing great, I think you should join the team!” she said. “What position would I be?” Whitney asked.

“Wide receiver all the way!” she said.

The team plays at Bon Secours Redskins Training Center. Their next game is Saturday, May 13. The gate opens at 3 p.m. and kickoff is at 4 p.m.

Last year the Richmond Black Widows won the tier III national conference championship and went on to compete for the national title.

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