Katie Ryckman is widely considered to be the best all-around athlete in the Lingerie Football League. The Seattle star excelled at strong safety, running back and wide receiver during the 2009-’10 season. She’s expected to be one of the top stars again this season, but her life will be incredibly different when she takes the field for the Mist.

Less than a month ago, Ryckman had to deal with the ultimate nightmare for any parent. Her 5-year-old son, Shea Conor Owens, passed away after a tragic accident.

“The girls have really expressed their support to Katie and her family,” said Mist head coach Chris Michaelson. “The funeral (which was held on April 22) was a packed house to celebrate the life of her son. He was a great boy, full of energy and life. He will truly be missed, but never forgotten.”

Ryckman still plans on playing in the LFL’s All-Fantasy Game, which will be held on June 10 at Monterrey Arena in Monterrey, Mexico. ‘Flash’ will be joined by some of the league’s biggest stars and it speaks volumes about her dedication to the LFL that she’s still going to play in the exhibition.

“Katie is a very strong person and her son would want her to carry out her passions in life,” added Michaelson. “It’s going to be hard for her this year, but I’m fully confident that if anyone can pull themselves together and get through the lows, it’s definitely this inspiring woman.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Ryckman was credited with 10 tackles and one interception last season. One of those tackles may just have been the hit of the year, not just in the LFL, but in all of football.

During a game against the San Diego Seduction, Ryckman perfectly lined up an opponent with the ball and drove straight through her stomach with a hit that would make Ray Lewis proud. Video of the hit can be seen on numerous YouTube clips.

See the monster hit at the 1:00 mark

Ryckman also averaged 7.4 yards per carry last season and scored four touchdowns (two rushing, two receiving). Her stats are a little lower than they could’ve been as she spent a few weeks as a high-profile decoy.
“In our last two games of the season, Ryckman’s numbers were not her usual numbers, due to the fact that we intentionally used her as a diversion tool,” stated Michaelson. “It opened up the field to other players who stepped up and captured the spotlight. Just having Ryckman’s presence on the field allows our team to do so much more and creates several openings and weak spots in opponents’ defensive schemes.”

The Mist went 3-1 last season and, with a healthy and motivated Ryckman, should be a force in the West again this year.

“I would warn many girls in the Western Conference that an even more determined Ryckman will be lurking in the shadows, so keep your head on a swivel ladies,” said Michaelson. “I think she will be playing this season with a profound perspective on life and how precious it is. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her and her decision to continue to play.”

To contribute to the Shea Conor Owens Memorial Fund, please visit the Sheamo Memorial page —