Britni de la Cretaz | Longreads | February 2019 | 19 minutes (4,800 words)
Mitchi Collette has been playing football, in one form or another, for 46 years. The 5’7” spitfire with grey, spiky hair is the co-owner and coach of the Toledo Reign, a team in the Women’s Football Alliance.
Collette is an effective coach in part because she knows firsthand what it’s like to be on the gridiron — she understands how to execute a play. The 65-year-old former outside linebacker knows what it feels like to put on the pads and the helmet and slam your full body weight into another person. She knows what it sounds like when bodies connect and the smell of grass and dirt when you’re thrown to the ground.