Hudson Valley Sports Report


Female Athlete Holds Her Own In Traditional Male Sports


By Kamryn Shepard
Special to HVSR

HYDE PARK – As if being a female wrestler wasn’t a big enough challenge, Alexa Liguori decided to take it to a new level this year.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt High School hits the football field on Saturday night against Kingston, Liguori will be donning the green and gold of the Presidents as a full-fledged member of the team.

And there’s not a darn thing you can do to try to intimidate her. She’s been down that road before.

“I’ve been at (wrestling) competitions where I knew I wasn’t wanted,” Liguori said. “I would run into coaches or parents that felt I shouldn’t be there, and sometimes the refs wouldn’t even check me in.”

Liguori first started wrestling as a sophomore when FDR finally offered the sport. The first year the team was completely JV, but by her junior year it was strictly a varsity sport.

The most enjoyable part of wrestling for Liguori is the challenge that comes with it. Before wrestling, she had never tried a combat sport and thought it would be fun.

“It was definitely challenging learning all of the rules and techniques from the ground up, but that’s what’s fun about it,” she said.

It was just over a year ago that Liguori was actually the 145-pound champion in the first-ever Section 9 girls wrestling championships. Unfortunately, because of the current pandemic, Liguori was not able to continue her wrestling career and felt it was an opportunity to try something else.

“I have so many stories and memories from my friends at football practice and games, so I figured it’s my senior year I’m going to give it a shot,” Liguori said. “Even if it turns out bad I know that I tried my best and that’s all that matters.”

Liguori has been able to apply her wrestling skills to football as she continues to learn and adapt to the ins and outs of the game. She has taken skills from her takedowns in wrestling and used them to improve her tackles, but it isn’t necessarily the hard-hitting that has been the most challenging.

“Learning how to be on an all-boys team, how to make friends with them, and when you get hit really hard understanding that it’s not personal, was tough for me to learn,” she said.

As a whole, the experience has been positive for Liguori. She has not only learned more about the game of football, but important life lessons as well. She has learned how to take criticism and actually apply it, and has realized she is a lot tougher than she ever thought she was.

All Liguori is trying to accomplish is being a tougher and better version of herself. FDR football head coach Ken Barger ‘couldn’t be happier’ that Liguori decided to play football.

“Her commitment is incredible. Her commitment to her sport, to her schoolwork, to her lifestyle is just incredible,” Barger said.

Liguori is not just a kicker for the team, she also plays linebacker, and according to coach Barger, she’s pretty good at it.

“She’s a tremendous player, she’s our Captain Marvel,” Barger said.

“I just want to be able to look back and say I was brave enough to try, and that I did it,” Liguori said.



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