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March 31, 2010 > A new pro team in Fremont

A new pro team in Fremont

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.

There's a professional football team in Fremont and the season is just around the corner. No, it's not the Oakland Raiders; it's not the San Francisco 49ers. This team represents the entire Bay Area, and they are women.

Playing its home games at Tak Fudenna Stadium in Fremont, it's the inaugural year of the Bay Area Bandits of the Independent Women's Football League (IWFL). IWFL was founded in 2000 and began play in 2001. There are currently 1,600 women playing on 41 teams throughout the United States and Canada.

Bay Area Bandits' is focused on provided a professional and organized environment for women tackle football players to play the game that they love, according to the team's Web site (www.bayareabandits.com).

In its mission statement, the Bandits state the desire "to afford its members an opportunity to play tackle football-a sport not traditionally offered to women-in an organized, life-enriching manner that promotes teamwork, discipline and dedication, while fostering the skills and knowledge necessary for our team to compete nationally. We commit ourselves to the highest standards of integrity in promoting the best interest of our members, our community, and our league."

Neda Mohammadi, a Fremont native and alum of Washington High School (venue of Tak Fudenna Stadium), founded the team. Mohammadi has three years of football experience, as well as five years of business management experience. She holds the title of general manager for the Bandits.

Mohammadi, along with Bandits linebacker Danielle Golay, are the Bandits' Board of the Directors. In addition, Michelle Herrera (assistant general manager), Cori Evans (sponsorship and marketing manager), Jennifer Romanini (administration support) and Anne Kendall (fundraising committee chair) put together the remaining staff members for this nonprofit hopeful.

You can catch the Bandits in action on Saturday, April 3, at 6 p.m. at Sacramento vs. the Sirens in its inaugural contest. If you can't make it to Sacramento, head to Tak Fudenna Stadium on Saturday, April 10, at 1 p.m. for the Bandits' home opener against the Portland Shockwave.

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