TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Saturday, Dec 20, 2014
Northwest News

Flag football player at Alonso turns to her inner gymnast

BY JEFF BERLINICKE
Special Correspondent

Published:

View allPage 1 of 2

Page 2 of 2 | View all Previous page

Lindsey Walker has had more broken bones than she can count.

She can’t give an exact answer, but admits that she will feel the pain in the not too distant future.

“I can see some arthritis pretty soon,” Walker said. “It won’t be long.”

She’s willing to take the chance. A senior at Alonso High School, she will attend the University of Florida next year on a gymnastics scholarship.

But perhaps she has some football in her future.

After arguing with her coach, she went out for the Alonso girls flag football team. Not only is she playing, she is a pass rusher, perhaps one of the best in all of Hillsborough County.

At the moment, she is finding a way to combine football and gymnastics along with a perfect grade point average. That’s how Walker rolls and she wouldn’t have it any other way, even if her gymnastics coach might not be crazy about her playing football.

“They were concerned about me getting injured in football, but I wanted to (play),” Walker said. “I was begging my coach to let me play and, since I am a senior, he said it would be okay. I love this.”

Walker is a Level 10 gymnast, but she can’t compete in nationals because she has a broken ankle. Still, she plays football with that broken ankle. It doesn’t bother her a bit.

She still trains in gymnastics four hours a day, but she has her priorities in order. She knows this is her last year to have fun until she gets to Gainesville. Even though she might be on the radar for the Olympics, potentially, she has no interest.

“I finally am having a chance to experience my childhood,” Walker said. “I have friends and we are so close in the gym, but I decided to play football and just have some fun. I missed out on a lot, so I am making up for it.”

She doesn’t expect the ankle injury to slow her down once she gets to Gainesville. She knows she won’t be playing intramural flag football there, and she’s committed to concentrating on gymnastics, which, in Gainesville, is a high priority.

Even playing on a broken ankle — and missing her senior prom since the Ravens had a state playoff game that weekend — she said was worth it.

“I just push through,” she said. “I have had so many surgeries I have learned to ignore the pain. I have bone chips, and have broken almost everything, but I know that, in four years, enough is enough. I’ll be ready in the fall. This has been fun.”

View allPage 1 of 2

Page 2 of 2 | View all Previous page

Subscribe to The Tampa Tribune

Comments