Steel City Kickers ready for the summer season to begin


by Ashley G. Woodson
For New Pittsburgh Courier

The Steel City Kickers initially started off as “Off The Chain Divas” the first year. President, Eesha Sheard, from Atlanta, created the league. She did not like the direction the league was going and created the Steel City Kickers.

The first game started in the summer of 2015 with five teams. Sheard did a lot of recruiting from all over Pittsburgh. Even though social media was popular at the time, word of mouth was how information created a buzz around the city.

Unfortunately, Sheard passed away in 2016 and her friends Mylia Jackson, Barbara Moore and Jeffrey O’Kelly continued the league after her death.
Jeffrey O’Kelly, from North Versailles, was there with Sheard when it all began.

STEEL CITY KICKERS team photo. The season gets underway on June 20 at Arsenal Field in Lawrenceville.

“Our league has had many accomplishments over the years. We were involved with Executive Director, Darrelle Porter, of the Ozanam/Ammon Recreation Center and Executive Director, Sean Gibson, of the Josh Gibson Foundation just to name a few. Having my son as one of my assistant coaches is also a major accomplishment,” said O’Kelly.

The first year of the league took off quickly and by the second year everyone wanted to be a part of the Steel City Kickers.

“Women were excited to be a part of the league because it is a childhood game with great memories for all. The first we continued the league of honor of Eesha and the second year we started implementing rules and guidelines because the league grew that fast,” Moore said.

Jackson became the president of the league recently and has a different vision for the Steel City Kickers.

“I want to start a Health and Wellness piece and start empowering women within the community to embrace their health. The purpose and passion have grown over the years and now it’s time for us to shine,” said Jackson.

Moore went to Wilkinsburg High School and came from a tight-knit community where everything was family-oriented.

“Everything we did was done within our Wilkinsburg community because we were a small community. The biggest part about Wilkinsburg is that there were no bars in the neighborhood. Our community was more educational, and we were not influenced by any negative outside forces,” Moore said.

Marquice “Quice” Woodson and Kelli Jackson play for the Steel City Kickers. Woodson plays for the Renegades and Jackson plays for the Diva Dolls. Each member had very positive things to say about the league and how it has impacted their lives.

“I’m older now but I still love playing kickball and I’ve always played sports when I was younger in high school. Being a part of the league is a great opportunity for me to bond and be around other positive women. It also allows me to get some exercise in and take better care of myself. I also love the comradery with everyone at the league,” said Woodson.

Kelli Jackson is a gym teacher and former athlete who loves being a part of the league.

“It’s a great way to connect with other women and keeping in shape. Most of the women that play on all of the teams are former athletes and have an admiration for being a part of the league,” said Jackson.

Now in season number five, it all gets underway for the Steel City Kickers beginning June 20 at Arsenal Field in Lawrenceville. Game times are between 2 and 6 p.m.

The Steel City Kickers play in the Adult Women’s Kickball League of Western Pa. The league has 10 teams total.

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