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Marietta resident competes for Pittsburgh Passion in the Women’s Football Alliance

WTAP News @ 6
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 6:12 PM EDT
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PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAP) -

Jana Meister, a resident of Marietta, Ohio. lives a very busy life where she works two jobs.

During the day, Jana works at Marietta Memorial as an occupational therapist and whenever her full-time job ends, she takes a two and a half hour drive north to Pittsburgh where she plays for the Pittsburgh Passion of the Women’s Football Alliance.

“So I actually came to Pittsburgh to get my masters degree in Occupational Therapy. I was going through a really rough time in life when I met the Passion. I happened to be out one night and a bunch of people saw me and said that I looked like an athlete. Do you enjoy football? And I was like yes absolutely I love football I’ve played ever since I was little. And they were like listen, have you ever heard of the Passion and I was a little familiar with it, but not really. And they were like you should come out for an interview. I got in touch with one of the coaches and she contacted me. I came in for a tryout. We were only a month away from the first game starting. I went in for practice and literally walked in and never left.”

Jana began playing football back in 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the last two seasons, but despite the time off, she could not wait to get back on the field with her team.

“It was mentally challenging to have two years off of football because if you’re a natural athlete who’s just on the grind and you love playing a sport, when you take two years and that’s become such a huge part of your identity a piece of that’s missing. So for me It was really tough. I’m not going to lie, I was like a little kid who was throwing a fit out here, Because I couldn’t play. And it’s tough for me being so far away because teammates who live in Pittsburgh, they can be around each other, they can still have that comradery, they can still get together and go to a field and I’m two hours away I’m kind of by myself. So it was just hitting the gym a lot, trying to keep my mind right and then when we came back it was just amazing being around teammates just having that type of energy again. And then hitting that field for the first time when you hit the turf, it was amazing.”

She was born and raised in Chicago and her education took her out to Pittsburgh to get her graduate degree in occupational therapy.

Her play and skills on the field have earned her a spot to play with Team U.S.A. football to compete in Finland against other countries.

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