Sunday, September 9, 2012

Profile - Maile Capers-Cristobal

Maile Capers-Cristobal
Third quarter, last game of the 2012 season.  We’re losing and aren’t going to catch up. The Houston center hikes the ball and then a huge hit sends her practically flying backwards into her backfield.  Next play it happens again. Hike, hit. And again.  Like nothing I’ve seen before in a football game.  The center hiking the ball and getting driven violently backwards. 

What was happening? 

Maile Capers-Cristobal. 

Normally an offensive left tackle, Maile is playing defensive  nose guard, lining up nose-to-nose with the center.  Coach Lance told her to “drill the center.”  She did.  After just a few of those big hits I started feeling sorry for the Houston center.  How must it feel having a six-foot three-hundred pound missile driving into you? 


Describing the experience later, Maile said she was just doing what coach said to do.  “It was kind of fun.”  She laughs at herself saying she hadn’t played defense before and “was so busy pushing the center backwards that I forgot to release and tackle the ball carrier.” 

Maile is the biggest outlaw at 6’ 1” and about 300 pounds.  She says she was tall all her life. In  school photos from elementary through high school, she towers over the rest of the class

She competed in air-rifle shooting
but I like this shot of Maile
with a pistol.
She would have played football but girls weren’t allowed. Maile helped the team as assistant trainer.  And water girl.”   She tried out for competitive Judo but they didn’t have a weight class for her.  She participated in ROTC and was a champion in air rifling.

Maile grew up in Hawaii.  She says it was great, “living on beach – any day of the week go to the beach.  We learned to swim before we could walk.”  She says “Hawaii is like paradise, mountains, cool breeze, life is good…”

So what brought you to Texas? 

Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the US.  It costs twice as much to live there as in Tennessee, and almost that much more compared with Texas.  When the cost got too high Maile’s mom booted her out (it was a friendly boot).  Maile joined her father in Austin. 

She was working at HEB when Austin Rage player, KJ Scheib, looked her over.  KJ played in the offensive line for the Rage and later at center for the Outlaws.  She is 5’10” and around two hundred pounds.  Maile had three inches on her in height and nearly a hundred pounds in weight.  KJ  asked me f I do sports and have I ever thought about playing football. 

“What woman wouldn’t want to play football? 

Maile tried out for the Rage and made the team.  She played for the Rage until they folded.  Later she moved to the Outlaws where she plays offense and presents a formidable obstacle to would-be tacklers.  (After the fun she had in the last half of this season’s last game, I’ll bet she’ll play some defense next season.)

Being a little bigger can be an
advantage in blocking.

Maile blocking, protecting quarterback Cookie.

Sometimes reserved, Maile really is a lot of
fun, laughs a lot.
My sense of Maile was that she was reserved.  She agreed.  “I have been burned a lot of times.”  She keeps her guard up when she doesn’t know you.  But “when I have a beer in me – she laughs – I like to make people laugh.”  

She is fun loving and full of mischief.  Remember a craze called “planking,” where you use your body to imitate a board. Lay face down, straight and firm, arms at side. Not moving.  The fun is where you do it. She and friends had “planking wars” competing to plank in the funniest places.  Maile planked garbage cans, golf carts.  She and a couple friends did a three-way planking on a car, one on the hood, one the trunk, one on top.
Planking trash cans.
Planking a golf cart.

Maile’s sister Malia also plays for the Outlaws.  Both cite playing side by side with her sister as a highlight of being Outlaws.  The Outlaws experience has deepened their friendship.

Maile, #56,  and sister Malia, #50,  playing side-by-side.  Both say playing together is
a highlight of their Outlaws experience.

Asked how competitive they are, both sisters said “very”.  Starting with each other.  On my profile information form, both claimed “anything she can do I can do better.”   When do they compete?  Always.  Racing, board games, running games.” Homework was the worst; “I’m done and I can go out and play, you have to stay in …” Car racing – but Malia had the edge because she had a fast car.  Maile “had a Nissan Sentra, not a racing car, but got me from point A to point B."

Not enough chairs to go around?
Maile is there to help.
Who is stronger, I asked?  Both claimed the honor.  Maile offers as proof that she’s the one teammates call when moving to a new apartment and needing help with the heavy lifting.  At parties, if there aren’t enough chairs, teammates will “sit on me.”  She doesn’t mind having a couple friends sitting on her lap no matter how long the party. 

Maile is nicknamed “Tabs” because she collects soda can tabs.  It started when a friend of her mom had a child badly hurt.  Some program offered to pay for a treatment session in exchange for a gallon of tabs.   Maile collected tabs for this benefit and has continued collecting ever since.  How many tabs do you have now?  She doesn’t know.  “I have bags ful, tabs in my purse, tabs in my car.”  Now people like Christine Martinez and Rubi Reyna collect them for her.  It is  addicting. Smiling, “I put them in my pocket and they come out in the dryer.”    

Maile says she is lucky.  Seriously lucky.  She plays bingo at the “Balcones Bingo” and rarely loses. She won $1,000 in a single night.  She also loves free contests, like radio shows where the seventh caller wins.  She has won tickets to Sea World, Spurs games, concerts, Fiesta Texas, Black Eyed Pea, CDs. 

A portrait of sister Malia's dog.
She enjoys drawing and, in my estimation, has some artistic talent. 

I asked how she deals with a losing season, in view of her competitive spirit.  She said she is proud that the team finished the season, never quit.  In spite of losses, they kept practicing, kept fund raising.  And next year, this year’s rookies will return knowing what they’re doing.  Veterans will be back.  “I feel sorry for other teams.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very cool too see women be who they want to be. Thank you for sharing. :-)