First Female High School Football Head Coach in Conn. Hopes to Lead Team to Victory

MCW United, a high school football co-op made up of Housatonic, Wolcott Tech and Wamogo, has an 0-29 record.

“For the past three seasons, it’s really been kind of a struggle,” said MCW United senior wide receiver Eric Hickey.

“You sweat every day and coming out every season and not one win,” said MCW United senior tackle Zachary Mallett. “Would I love to win? Yes. Is it hard to lose? Very but I still get out here and practice as hard as I can.”

This season, MCW United is hoping to break the cycle with a coach who is used to breaking the mold. Jennifer Garzone is the first-ever female varsity football coach in Connecticut.

“It’s exciting, it’s flattering, I’ve been trying not to focus on it as much,” said Garzone who also teaches at Wolcott Tech, coaches softball and girls basketball, drives the team bus and is a new mom.

Garzone loved football from a young age and had to wait until she was 21-years-old to play in an organized competitive game. She went on to play semi-professional women’s football for 11 years.

“I still remember my first tackle. I still remember my first time getting tackled,” said Garzone.

Even though she has experience playing the game, Garzone says it’s not necessary to have played in order to be a good coach.

“It’s ironic because there are a ton of men who coach sports and they’ve never played that game either,” Garzone added.

Garzone is proud to take on this role and help break down barriers.

“This coming along for women and for sports, it’s a huge deal but it’s not the reason I’m doing it,” she said.

“Hopefully we can get our first win too and make it even more of an historic year for us," Hickey said.

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