Much more to Alli Alberts than postgame beer celebration

Although an initial impression of Alberts, the football player, may be defined by her beautiful and confident demeanor, the reality is that she is equally ambitious off the field, with the perseverance to match. Considering her goal of working in the dental field as a prosthodontist, she may definitely see an increase in patients. Having graduated from the College of Dentistry of 2013, Alberts balanced her aspiring gridiron career with the Bliss as well as a three-year advanced prosthodontics program, which involved a breadth of study involving the treatment of teeth, specifically with crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays, dentures and implants.

An exceptional athlete at the high school and collegiate levels, the chance to play for the Bliss rekindled her love of competition. Among her athletic legacy at Freeburg High School (where she was also Valedictorian), she earned All-State honors in basketball, volleyball and track and field. In junior high school, her athletic talents resulted in state triumphs in volleyball, basketball and three track and field events (800 meter run, 4 by 400 relay and the high jump).

At Washington University in St. Louis, she set a school record in the heptathlon, where she earned three-time All-America honors during her university years. Equally impressive was her contributions to Washington University’s NCAA Division III volleyball title in 2007, earning MVP honors.

Of note, the double major in biology and anthropology would earn recognition in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd feature for her volleyball heroics. As an outside hitter for the volleyball team, her sterling performance of 50 kills, 45 digs, seven block assists and four aces resulted in an undefeated week for the University. Subsequently, she was also the Division III Player of the Week.

Having attended St. Louis Rams football games in her youth (her family had season tickets), her first experience with the sport included flag football. The chance to break barriers and play tackle football represented an empowering opportunity to return to team sports, an aspect of life that always provided her with tremendous sense of happiness and accomplishment.

During her inaugural season with the Chicago Bliss, it would have been easy for Alberts to reconsider and walk away from the game. Having first come across the league on television, she received a “welcome to the gridiron” in her debut, courtesy of one of the league’s greatest competitors. Suffering a concussion in an attempted tackle against All-Fantasy QB Ashley Salerno of the Los Angeles Temptation, other injuries that season included a cracked rib and a bruised leg.

Compounding her woes during that first game was the fact that Salerno actually knocked her unconscious during the attempted tackle. With her mother and friends in the stands, it was a distressing scene as she received medical attention on the field. Although her mother had wanted her to quit, she would make a valiant return three weeks later, showing a strong self-esteem that may have eluded her in years past. It was one that culminated with Alberts leading the team in numerous statistical categories; receptions, receiving yardage and touchdowns, respectively. A nominee for the league’s Rookie of the Year Award, she also recorded a quarterback sack and two interceptions on defense, displaying strong versatility.

Bouncing back from such discouraging injuries, she would have the last laugh, as the Bliss usurped the Temptation to become Western Conference champions. In the Legends Cup, she would register two rushing touchdowns in the first half against the Philadelphia Passion, as the Bliss enjoyed a commanding 21-point lead at halftime. Prevailing by a 34-18 margin, the first championship win in Bliss history was testament to Alberts’ resilience.

It may come as a surprise to know that Alberts struggled with body image issues when she was younger, something that has plagued so many other women. Upon joining the Chicago Bliss, Alberts’ perceptions had changed for the better. In observing that many of her teammates were muscular, possessing massive quads, the fact that male fans admired them and found them attractive served as a trigger for Alberts. She suddenly became more comfortable with herself and the results have spoken for themselves, as she became more than just an elite athlete, but a cherished teammate and friend.

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