Remy Olinzock a welcome addition for powerhouse Pittsburgh Passion

As one of the most accomplished female football franchises in the Rust Belt, the Pittsburgh Passion have built a remarkable sporting legacy. Heading into the 2015 campaign, one of the newest acquisitions looking to contribute to said legacy was a highly talented and well-conditioned spitfire known as Remy Olinzock.

Having competed in indoor women’s football in Cleveland and Toledo, Olinzock was not only one of the club’s fan favorites, but exemplified strong leadership. Earning All-Conference honors at her position, she was a beacon of optimism on a team that tried valiantly to place victories in the wins column.

During the winter of 2014, Olinzock was one of several American female football players that travelled to Australia to participate in a series of exhibition games. Competing against a pair of All-Star teams from Australia and New Zealand, Olinzock proudly donned the red, white and blue, while making new friends and establishing herself as an ambassador for the gridiron game.

Suiting up with the Pittsburgh Passion as a free agent, Olinzock immediately paid dividends. Displaying a strong love of the game (one of the hallmarks in her great career), she quickly proved to be one of the finest free agent acquisitions in IWFL football. She was part of a bright first-year class that included Rosie Christian, Jessica Melodia and Hannah Daman, the first girl to play football at Central Valley High School.

With Olinzock’s mother proudly in attendance at home games, showing encouragement and love, it only added to what has become an unforgettable season. This complements the positive impact of her father, who has been her biggest supporter, attending every game in Cleveland, Toledo and Pittsburgh.

In her Passion debut, a 66-0 trouncing of the Toledo Reign, the Star Junction, PA-raised Olinzock had three carries for 61 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown run, the first of her IWFL career. In that same game, fellow running back Sarah Niedermeyer also contributed her first IWFL touchdown.

In action with the Pittsburgh Passion (Image obtained from Facebook)
In action with the Pittsburgh Passion (Image obtained from Facebook)

Another match against Toledo saw Olinzock rush 18 yards for a touchdown in front of a jubilant home crowd, part of a 63-0 whitewash, their 43rd shutout in franchise history. Throughout the season, she would share running back duties with Tara Catone, Tia Montgomery and Niedermeyer, along with providing superlative shows of perseverance on special teams.

A June 27 postseason tilt with the legendary New York Sharks resulted in Olinzock recovering an onside kick and running it back for a touchdown. It would prove to be a crucial play as the Passion emerged victorious in a 35-28 final, while earning the right to play for the Eastern Conference championship.

By season’s end, Olinzock had the opportunity to compete in the 2015 IWFL Championship Game in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Facing a 24-20 halftime deficit, the Passion prevailed in a dramatic come-from-behind fashion, defeating the Utah Falconz by a 41-37 mark for their third championship. Through it all, Olinzock’s enthusiasm, love of the game and encouraging smile contributed to a season that culminated in a 22-game winning streak, 95 franchise wins overall and the third undefeated season in Passion history.

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Author: markstaffieri

A proud supporter of women in sport. My influences in covering women's sport include Andria Hunter and Jaclyn Hawkins. Both are former women’s hockey players who created their own websites, providing a deeper insight for their respective sport. Unable to identify with multi-millionaire male athletes, the role of women in sport is one that provides inspiration while preserving the spirit of sportsmanship. My first exposure to women and sport came through Geraldine Heaney and her legendary goal at the 1990 Women's World Hockey Championships. By composing player profiles on women from all sports, it is my opportunity to give back to the female sporting community by showing gratitude for their hard work and effort. While women's hockey opened the door to a larger yet remarkable world of sport, the quantum leap in women's football and global growth of women's basketball have only helped to fuel my interest in the female game. Some of the athletes that I admire include Caroline Ouellette and Natalie Spooner (hockey), Lolo Jones (track), Connie Fekete and Sami Grisafe (football) plus Anne Erler and Heather Furr (LFL football). Other athletes consist of Sue Bird and Katie Smith (basketball) along with Barbara Mervin and Heather Moyse (rugby). In addition to my efforts on WordPress, I have also contributed to Bleacher Report, the Canadian Women's Hockey League, Hockey Canada, LFL Canada and Women's Hockey Life.

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