LEA KASZAS, #7, QUARTERBACK
Lea first started playing football in 2007, in Toledo, Ohio, for Thee Toledo Reign. She hadn’t thought of playing football until she met a group of girls who played for the team and convinced her to give it a shot. Although a multi-sport athlete in high school, Lea didn’t play back then because football was not a popular sport in Canada; she certainly hadn’t heard of girls or women playing. Lea has been playing women’s tackle football for eight years; this will be her seventh season playing for Indy.
Lea acknowledges that she was glad she gave football a shot back in Toledo. “Football pushes me to my limits; it makes me want to be better every year. I love the physicality, the necessity of teamwork, the camaraderie, and being a student of the game. There is nothing more exciting than taking the field Saturday night and after seven seasons; I still look forward to practice every week.”
Lea believes the team’s biggest challenge is recruiting players and getting the team’s name out there to potential fans and sponsors. While she recognizes the challenges faced by most women’s pro teams, such as obtaining all of the necessary organizational and financial resources to run a team, Lea worries more about memorizing the play calls and working out as well she should. According to Lea, the players should worry about playing and keeping their bodies healthy.
As far as football is concerned, Lea’s most influential mentor was and is her first coach, Mitchi Collette. The sport was completely new to Lea, but she said Collette believed in her every step of the way. In Lea’s first year, Collette helped her make the ALL-PRO team where she excelled and earned MVP. Lea continues to remember the skills Collette taught and is inspired by her passion for the game. Since then, she has had many other amazing coaches who have all contributed to her growth.
Lea graduated from École Maurice- Lavallée in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where she played all sports ranging from badminton to basketball; she played soccer and volleyball all six years from junior high through high school. Lea graduated from IUPUI with a degree in elementary education and currently teaches first grade for Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). Lea says, “I love my kids and my job!”
Through football, Lea has met some of her closest friends, many of whom she believes will remain friends long after her years of playing are behind her. Lea is appreciative of her partner, Irune for supporting her. Lea’s niece and nephew grew up watching Lea, their mom, as well as an entire group of strong and important women play football. It is clear that football has played just as much of a part in the lives Lea’s family members as it has in her life.
Please help the team and Lea. Anything you give this month will be split 50/50 between the Indy Crash to prepare for the 2016 season and to help pay Lea’s 2016 player fees. You can make donations on our GoFundMe.