Cherre Marshall was in the right place at the right time and it helped advance her game to a level she never thought was possible.
The Virginia native was playing in a flag football game when a referee noticed her talent and pointed her in a new direction, suggesting she try out for the D.C. Divas, a women’s professional football team. And play football she did. Marshall joined the Divas in 2008 and enjoyed a stellar career before retiring in 2018. Marshall earned All-American honors as a hard-hitting linebacker, but more importantly, fulfilled a dream and created a path for others to follow.
“I lit up," Marshall said. "This was a chance for me to finally play football. It makes a statement that you can do it, too. But there has to be avenues, more clinics for football, more invites and more visibility for women.”
Marshall joined the Army just a week before 9/11 and was eventually deployed in Iraq. Marshall compares sports to the military.
“In the military, you’re building a soldier," Marshall said. "In sports, you’re building a player. So you’re getting a player organized with a team background.”
Marshall gets the chance to work on team-building with Soldiers to Sidelines, a non-profit organization that gives veterans a chance to coach after leaving the military.
“I want to be a coach that let’s the players know that I’m there for them, especially women," Marshall said. "When you learn football, you learn the value of a team. Then you learn the value of family and you know that’s important.”
Marshall is a true patriot, and an inspiration to women in the military and on the gridiron. Marshall continues to take advantage of her opportunities and has forged a great sports and life journey because of it.
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