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Women's football team debuts May 2 at Woodbury High School

A group of local women are hoping to do more than just fill the void between the NFL's draft and its regular season -- they're hoping to make a statement.

The Minnesota Machine, a new women's football team, will call south Washington County its home for the next two months as it will play its four home games between Park and Woodbury high schools.

The Machine is a member of the Women's Football Alliance (WFA) -- a league made up of 38 teams from across the nation. The team's regular season consists of four home and four away games, against the Iowa Thunder, Kansas City Storm, Missouri Phoenix and St. Louis Slam. Home games for the Minnesota Machine are Saturday nights and will be played in south Washington County. Woodbury High School will host games on May 2, June 13 and June 27 and Park High School will host a game Mother's Day weekend -- on Saturday, May 9.

Cindy Gerfast, a fifth grade teacher at Cottage Grove Elementary plays offensive and defensive tackle for the Machine. Other players of note include Kim Miller, Maggie Alt and Yolanda Fason. Miller, the team's starting quarterback, has played men's college football for Ridgewater Community College in Minnesota. Alt, who is a senior at St. Louis Park High School and the youngest player on the Machine, played football for the Panthers boys team this past fall. Fason, a halfback, is the wife of former Minnesota Viking Ciatrick Fason.

With a full-time teaching job and two youngsters at home, Gerfast says football provides her with a stress-reliever.

"I'm a very competitive person and I do have a lot of pent-up aggression and energy," Gerfast said. "Sometimes the stress gets in the way of my life. This is one way for me to actually legally hit somebody."

Check out the full story and additional photos in the May 6 issue of the Bulletin.