As women’s football continues to experience unprecedented growth, one of its most durable and reliable players is worthy of the moniker of hero. Sarah Schkeeper has successfully established herself as more than just a world-class talent, but a tower of strength on and off the field.
Competing on the offensive line at the guard position for the New York Sharks, Schkeeper earned the privilege to compete for the United States at the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Championships in Vantaa, Finland. Blocking for an offense that pounded opponents into submission, Schkeeper would emerge with a gold medal while competing in the starting lineup.
Hailing from Livingston, New Jersey, Schkeeper is known affectionately as “The Viking” as she wears braided pigtails in games. Her initial exposure to football was attributed to her older brother. As their mother prevented him from competing on the gridiron due to concerns over injury, the two began participating in backyard football, a rite of passage for many youngsters.
Destined to compete, Schkeeper would be introduced to the New York Sharks during her graduate studies in the Big Apple. After successfully completing her undergraduate studies in Philadelphia, one of her first forays in New York resulted in coming across details of open tryouts on the Sharks’ website. One of the most legendary franchises in feminine football history, it is not only the longest in operations, but also the winningest.
Suiting up for the Sharks as a rookie in 2009, it would mark the beginning of a football legacy that few offensive linemen could ever match. Ironically, it was her first exposure to competing in an organized sport. The fact that she would become a world champion merely four years later is nothing short of remarkable.
Channeling the skills of some of the greatest linemen in football history such as Kent Hull, Will Shields, Gene Upshaw, she is forging her own legacy as the premier blocker in female football history. Her illustrious career is testament to the ambition and determination that women have had in attempting to shatter barriers and have an equal opportunity to play.
While offensive line is one of the most unglamorous and under-recognized positions in football, those who clash on the line of scrimmage in order to protect their offensive counterparts are truly the unsung heroes in the sport. Schkeeper would elevate such intensity to a higher level. Having never missed a game since her rookie campaign of 2009, she is truly an iron woman in the sport.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Schkeeper’s durability occurred off the football field. Engaging in cycling as a leisure activity, she would be hit twice by vehicles on the unforgiving streets of Brooklyn. Despite the fact that these incidents occurred within a period of four months, she did not suffer one broken bone. Diagnosed with only a concussion and a dislocated rib, it would be easy to look at her as indestructible.
Off the field, she is equally successful with a remarkable educational background and a promising career in the field of architecture. Having graduated from Temple University and the Pratt Institute, she is tackling the world of architecture and design with an equal vigor.
From engaging in concept design, project management and remodeling, her multi-tasking abilities have led her to work for Michael Graves and Steven Sclaroff. Employing a strong sense of balance and composition, her experiences have given her confidence to take the ultimate step.
Utilizing the ambition and energy that has transformed her into a living legend in football, Schkeeper has become an entrepreneur. The principal owner of reCON Studio, the breadth of services that she provides ranges from designs such as architectural, interior, concept and industrial to 3D modeling, rendering and animation.
Highly skilled and articulate, the ability for Schkeeper to juggle the obligations of the gridiron, career and family is symbolic of the modern-day woman. Part super-hero and part tireless, Schkeeper is the type of individual that anyone would want to have on their team. Also a proud aunt to six children, she is a gentle giant with a heart of gold that proves it is never too late to pursue your dreams.