Personal Best: Mother of three has made football part of her routine 

Rather than a dozen roses, Danielle Golay expects several dozen passes tossed her way to celebrate Mother’s Day.
When the blocking tight end of the Bay Area Bandits learned in preseason that she would be called upon to run receiving routes, the 33-year-old Golay set out to “learn how to catch a football the right way.”

Each day, 6-year-old Jaden, the eldest of Golay’s three kids, fires his mother upwards of 100 passes in his play room.
“He actually has a pretty good arm,” the boastful mom said. “We haven’t broken anything on the wall, and that’s good too.”

On defense, a middle linebacker since her playing days at Kezar Stadium for the San Francisco Stingrays, the coaching staff shifted their 6-foot-1 star to the line this season. Initially, the adjustment from the middle to defensive end was a challenge for Golay.

“I’m really starting to like it,” she said. “You’re trying to stop the play before it starts.”

A former Division I basketball player at Seton Hall and USC, where she graduated with a degree in business, Golay, who also holds a masters degree in information technology, has been playing organized women’s football since 2002. She played a season for the Oakland Banchees, as well as two for the now-defunct Stingrays.

“The real challenge with these teams is getting enough girls,” Golay said. “That’s what excites us about the Bandits. We had 68 come to try out and have 43 players on the full roster.”

The Independent Women’s Football League includes 1,800 athletes on 51 teams. The Bandits’ eight-game regular season ends in early June. Before the postseason begins, the elite of the league will take part in the International Federation of American Football Women’s World Championship. Golay was one of 45 players to be offered a spot on Team USA’s roster.
After three games in eight days at the Stockholm tournament, Golay will fly home, anticipating a playoff run with her Bandit teammates.

“I’m in excellent shape,” said the quality assurance manager who works 10-hour days at Genentech-Roche in South San Francisco. “I really try to make sure that my body is prepared for the game and taken care of after the game. If you get your eating right you can keep your body in good shape without working out five days per week.”

The passes in Jaden’s play room, though, are tossed seven days per week, with Mother’s Day no exception.


Independent Women’s Football League

Team: The Bay Area Bandits

Home field: Tak Fudenna Stadium, Fremont


Golay’s fitness tip: “Eat every 2½ hours to keep your metabolism up”

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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