FORMER UMES TRACK STAR CHANTELLE RINGGOLD COMPETING ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD
By Dave Vatz, Oct. 20, 2010
For most female athletes, the world of athletics is over after graduation of college. But for Chantelle Ringgold, she is not done competing on the field. Ringgold, a former student-athlete at University of Maryland Eastern Shore, is competing on the newly-formed Baltimore Charm in the Lingerie Football League this season.
"I saw it on TV and I wondered if it was real so I looked it up. It peaked my interest because it looked like something I could do," says Ringgold, "When I first heard of the league the closest team was [Philadelphia], but I was very happy to hear about the new team in Baltimore."
Ringgold joined the Charm after successfully passing tryouts in May plus a second in July. She is primarily a defensive player, playing in the Charm secondary as a safety and a cornerback, but she also plays wide receiver. So far to start the season she has five tackles in her first two games.
While at UMES, Ringgold was a double-sport athlete, running track and playing volleyball for the Hawks along with her twin sister Candice. In her senior year, Chantelle ran on UMES's 4x400-meter relay team that competed in the NCAA Eastern Regional in 2003 and finished fourth in the 200-meter final of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships in her senior year in 2005.
"The speed I developed running for track helps because you can closeout and cover players better. Playing volleyball taught me how to stay low, and if you know anything about football and hitting it's staying low and driving through. The driving through comes from track. I can still hear Coach [Earnest] Barrett saying `Drive, drive, drive...'"
Playing football is not easy for the Baltimore-native. The Charm holds practice every Saturday and Sunday for four hours, plus the team does conditioning on Mondays and Wednesdays for a couple of hours. Ringgold balances this with her full-time job of being a personal trainer.
"It is tough; you get tired and run down but you have to find a way to do it if that is what you want. Life gets hard; it's how you manage it."
It has been a tough start for the Charm this season, but Ringgold is optimistic that the team will be on all cylinders soon. For her, "life got in the way" of athletics after school, but she is back on the field of competition once again.