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Davis Journal

Bountiful’s Sara Galica playing in World Tackle Football Championships

Aug 02, 2022 01:55PM ● By Tom Haraldsen

Nine years ago, Sara Galica was a student at Weber State University, majoring in professional sales. She was also avid about exercise and health. While at the gym one morning, she met a fellow student who was involved in a women’s tackle football program. She talked to Sara about it, and Sara was intrigued.

That began a journey which has taken her to Vantaa, Finland this week as a part of the U.S. Women’s Tackle Football team that will begin play Saturday at the IFAF World Championships. In three games over eight days, Team USA is hoping to once again win the world title, as it has each of the previous three times the tournament has been played since its inception in 2010.

“I feel very fortunate and very blessed,” the 30-year-old Sara said during an interview from Canton, Ohio, where the team has been practicing. They departed for Finland on Wednesday. “Hundreds of players tried out, and I was fortunate enough to be one of the 45 selected for the national team.”

She was born in The Netherlands, where her father was in the U.S. Air Force. The family moved to Utah when he was assigned to Hill Air Force Base. She grew up in Layton, graduated from Layton High and eventually Weber State, then bought a home and moved to Bountiful in 2019. She loves it here.

“Bountiful is wonderful,” she said. “I love the location, its proximity to both Salt Lake City and Ogden, and the hiking trails in the mountains.” She works full time for a software company in Sugarhouse and has been playing with the Utah Falconz women’s tackle football team for the past six seasons. They have won two national championships and finished second this year. The team plays in the spring at Cottonwood High School.

Sara is “like a Swiss army knife – I play all over the place,” she said with a laugh. That has included stints on both offense and defense, including at quarterback. In Finland, she will play defensive back, “which is great when I’m feeling a little nitty gritty. We run the triple option on offense, so it’s helped me prepare defensively for just about anything our opponents can throw at us. I just want to step up and play where I’m needed.”

She didn’t grow up playing football or most any other sport, though she always loved physical fitness.

“I wasn’t very athletic as a child or teen,” she said. “I got cut from the girls’ basketball team at Layton as a senior, but I think I hit puberty later in my life. I had a lot of heart but not a lot of skill, so I’ve really worked on getting to a place in football where I’ve been able to thrive. The first few years I was passionate and didn’t see my flaws. It wasn’t obvious to me that I wasn’t very good. But once I started the grind and working harder, the skills came around.” 

Women’s tackle football is still relatively new and often unheard of by fans and the media. Falconz players have to pay much of their own way for uniforms and equipment, travel and related costs. Sara hopes the sport will continue to evolve and gain some financial support. 

She admires Utah’s Sam Gordon, the 19-year-old from Herriman who formed the first all-girls tackle football league in the country, which earned her the NFL Honors’ Game Changer Award.

“I am so proud of her and that Utah has its own league. I think of the phrase, ‘If she can see it, she can be it.’ I hope I can continue to play at this stage and have a positive impact on other girls. The goal isn’t to get every girl to play tackle football – the goal is to show them they can do anything they’re positive about.” λ