Her perseverance and dedication were key factors in the Steel qualifying for the 2012 WWCFL championship game. In recognition of her contributions during the Steel’s Cinderella run, the opportunity to be named Team MVP is one that Heninger accepts with great pride.
“It is honestly an honor to have been named team MVP in 2012. Playing on such an incredible team that fought hard to the very end. Even though we were few in numbers, we had such an incredible amount of heart and hard work. To be able to have been named team MVP is honestly a very special thing and will be dear to me always.”
Prior to her glories on the gridiron, Heninger had another role competing on the hardcourts of basketball. Of note, she was recognized as the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s basketball player of the year. During the 2010-11 Pronghorns season, she led the squad with 13.4 points per game.
As a life long sports fan, football was one of many sports that she participated in as a child. With the influence of her father having played, Heninger brings a great love of the game to the gridiron, “I played football when I was just a kid, and honestly, I just love sports. I'll play anything. It did not hurt either that my dad played when he was younger, too.”
Assuming the role of quarterback, Heninger competes at a very demanding and high pressure position. Pressure is no stranger to an ambitious competitor such as Heninger. While the responsibility may be overwhelming to some, Heninger approaches it with a great sense of maturity.
“I just play. Sometimes the pressure is high, but it's only as high as you let it be. I've been a point guard (in basketball) my whole life and played sports my whole life, so I have some experience with high pressure situations, and I just remember that I love playing and nobody is perfect.”
In the opening game of the 2013 season, Heninger and her teammates made a strong statement. Playing on the road against the Okotoks Lady Outlawz, Heninger led the charge in a 74-0 trouncing. The win brought with it momentum. “It was brilliant. Great start to the season.”
While the loss to the Saskatoon Valkyries in the 2012 WWCFL title game was a visceral one, Heninger is eager for a chance at redemption. As the field general of the Steel, Heninger played valiantly in the title game, as she scored two rushing touchdowns and compiled 110 rushing yards in an admirable effort.
This season, Heninger has duplicated her success on the field. In having led Lethbridge to a 3-0 start, the Steel are emerging as the favorites to claim the Western Conference title.
In asking what it will take to win a championship this season, Heninger replied, “It's going to take a lot more discipline on our part (the girls). The coaches have given us the tools and we need to use them. It's also important to have our numbers.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated.”