Discover the Difference: Ronsloniec always up for a challenge

by Diocese of Des Moines | November 7, 2022

Lena kicks a foot ball

By Kevin White

Senior Lena Rosloniec decided to try her hand at football for the first time this fall. She isLena in her football uniform believed to be the first female high school football player in St. Albert Catholic history.

“She’s been a welcome addition,’’ St. Albert head coach Jake Driver said. “She’s taught us to be inclusive. Once you’re a part of our team, you’re always a part of our team. She’s been at every practice. She’s done all things required to be a Falcon football player. Her contributions probably don’t show up on a stat sheet.’’  

We caught up with Rosloniec to ask her a few questions about her experience thus far.

Q: When did you first begin to consider playing football and who did you seek out first?
A: This summer. Coach Driver. He was a bit skeptical at first. He said that there wasn’t really a kicker. Until (freshman) Kyle (Irwin) went out we didn’t have a kicker. I just thought, ‘Why not? It’s my senior year.’

Q: Since you’re a kicker, some people might assume you just kick throughout practice, off by yourself. But we understand that you go through all the drills with the rest of the team. Is that the case?
A: Yes, I do everything the rest of the team does.

Q: Did the team accept you pretty quickly?
A: The underclassmen were kind of all in. They were excited. They’re the ones that have kind of rallied around me.

Q: Did it surprise you how difficult it was?
A: Not really. I kind of expected it. Let’s be honest. Football is very testosterone-fueled. It’s very violent. I knew it was going to be tough, but I’ve always been a very competitive person. I was like, ‘I’m going to push through.’

Q: Could you describe that first week?
A: It was definitely different. I was also sick that first week of camp. I had the flu and I had an extremely bad cold. So combine that with full pads and with how hot it was, there was some times I felt like I was going to pass out. But I pushed through. I’m always up for a challenge.

Q: Do you think you held your own?
A: I think a few were kind of shocked, once I got my form for tackling down, how hard I could actually hit. I think there were a few that were like, ‘Oh, ok.’

Q: Tell us about the time you and Jayden Beckman were running full speed and smacked into each other?
A: We’re covered in grass stains just laughing. I don’t know what happened. He looks at me and I look at him, and I’m like, ‘Sorry.’

Q: How have the coaches been throughout the season?
A: They’re very welcoming. It’s a different aspect, having a female on the team. But they’re not, ‘Oh, she can’t do this.’ They make me feel like I’m a part of the team.

Q: In games, have you noticed that opponents realize there’s a girl on the other team?
A: Yes. We’ve been warming up and you can just see them pointing. You can’t miss the braid that sticks out of the back of the helmet.

Q: Does dressing by yourself ever present a problem?
A: (Chuckling.) Sometimes they do forget about me. The one JV game they completely forgot to come grab me. I went down 10 minutes late and the coach was like, ‘Where have you been?’ I’m like, ‘Someone was supposed to come knock on my door, but nobody did!’

Q: Do you ever ask yourself, ‘Why am I out here?’
A: Sometimes, but then I just remember how much this is actually changing our school’s history and opening so many more doors for those little girls that do want to play.  

Q: What would you say to a young St. Albert student who might be consider playing football or doing anything “outside the box.’’
A: If you think you can do it, you can. Do what you believe in and don’t let anybody tell you no.

Diocese of Des Moines

The Diocese of Des Moines, created in 1911, serves people over a 12,446 square mile area in the southwestern quadrant of Iowa, including 23 counties.