By Jason Mackey
Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa.
On a recent Tuesday afternoon, Lisa Horton left her job at a Washington,D.C.-area YMCA early, tossed a few bags into the back of her black 2012 Nissan Rogue and began the four-and-a-half-hour drive northwest to Pittsburgh.
The starting quarterback of the Pittsburgh Passion women’s football team, Horton already has slapped more than 74,000 miles on her Rogue while making this trip for practices and games.
That she does this while continuing to play for the Passion, where this season she became the first quarterback in women’s football history to eclipse 10,000 passing yards, is only the latest example of the 36-year-old’s extraordinary dedication to the sport.
“You can’t get the feeling of playing football anywhere else,” said Horton, who moved from Franklin Park to Crofton, Md., for work last fall. “It’s this indescribable draw that makes you come back every year.”
Or every game, every series or even every play.
Not one of which Horton, who used to work in the U.S. Steel Tower but left to become health and wellness director at the YMCA’s Northwest Washington branch, is willing to miss.
Horton has played with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee. She had another season end with a torn meniscus.
She’s made awkward, right-handed handoffs while protecting a broken left wrist. She even lined up at wide receiver when a herniated disc in her neck left her unable to throw the ball more than 10 yards.
A deep thigh bruise probably should have kept Horton out of a 21-6 win over the New York Sharks on May 24, considering she couldn’t run or plant.
But Horton, holding true to form, played.
“There are certainly times when it comes to practices and whatnot where I would say take it easy, we have some time, you can rest up a little bit,” said Passion wide receiver Amanda Haeg, who was an athletic trainer at Duquesne for four years. “But she’s certainly the most intense player that I’ve played with.”