Employing great enthusiasm and a powerful kicking leg, Carly Dyck is contributing to a Lethbridge Steel franchise that is quickly emerging as one of the most dominant in the Western Women’s Canadian Football League. With the club enjoying an undefeated start to their season, it is firmly entrenched in first place in the Western Conference.
While Dyck has a strong background in soccer, her love of the sport was a key motivating factor in deciding to tackle the game of women’s football. Despite a history of concussions, motherly wisdom was the catalyst to ignite her motivation to pursue gridiron competition.
“I come from a soccer family, so I have been playing soccer and going to sports camps since I was about 5 years old. Now that I am older, there are fewer opportunities to play competitive soccer, so I was looking for something fun and challenging.”
“I heard about the women’s football team in Lethbridge for the first time three years ago, but I have a history of concussions so it did not seem like a good idea at the time. Last spring, my mother encouraged me to go to the first meeting for the Lethbridge Steel and decided to try it out.”
Similar to other women in the WWCFL, Dyck was not a fan of the game in her youth. Once she tried it (like those she plays with and against today), she became an instant fan. “I had no previous football experience and never used to watch it on TV. Yet, after the first practice, I was completely hooked on the sport.”
With her positive experiences in football, it has rejuvenated Dyck’s competitive nature and provided her with a new outlet for her athletic goals. In discussing the role of football among young girls, Dyck offers a message of encouragement.
“Give it a try! Our team’s motto is 'You are tougher than you think,' and that could not be more true. Football is an amazing sport; it is fun but also mentally and physically challenging. There is room for any type of athlete on a football team, no matter what shape, size or gender.”
As her career with the Steel continues to grow, there is no particular moment in her career that stands out as her favourite. Rather, it is the love of the game that she prefers. While she had the opportunity to participate in the 2012 WWCFL championship game against the Saskatoon Valkyries, Dyck still sees herself as a student of the game.
“Picking a favourite football moment is really difficult for me. Every single game is more exciting and more thrilling than the last one. I have only been playing for two years, and I still feel like I am learning a lot and getting better with every game that I play.”
Having also served as a kicker on the Steel, Dyck has added versatility to her game. One of her finest moments as a kicker came when she booted a 28 yard field goal in a 16-14 victory over the Edmonton Storm on May 27, 2012. It was one of the longest field goals in league history. While the nervousness that accompanies the role of a kicker can be a heavy burden, it is a role that has not only added a new dimension to Dyck’s game, but also provides excitement.
“Because of my experience as a soccer player, I figured that kicking would be pretty easy. I love being the kicker; its exciting and pretty nerve wracking. It also forces me to slow down and concentrate on what I’m doing.”
“Kicking a game winning field goal is definitely a great feeling. One of these days, I want to go find a field with a long snapper and a holder and see how far I can actually kick. My coaches do a great job of supporting me and making me feel talented.”
With a landmark 2012 season that resulted in the Steel winning the Western Conference championship, Dyck approaches the game with an even stronger confidence. As the club looks poised for another strong season in 2013, she understands the need to commit and engage in a more intense preparation.
“Our team works hard at every practice and every game. We can only be as good as the effort we put in, and if we keep working hard, our potential will continue to increase. I think my team is capable of winning the WWCFL title this year, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work from every player and member of the coaching staff.”
“I think being mentally ready is a big part of game preparation, especially with a sport such as football. You cannot just go out on the field and play, you have to know your role and do your job in order for the team to be successful.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”