SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI – Former UMaine softball third baseman Alyssa Derrick’s unofficial Maine Day tradition helped land her a professional football contract this summer.
Even if you do not recognize the name, you may recognize Alyssa Derrick’s arm. Known on the internet for her throwing skills, the former UMaine softball third baseman has gone viral twice over for annual tradition of throwing a football during Maine Day festivities in Orono.
“My senior year, I threw the football and it went viral again, and that day I signed a paper, joking, saying I retire from throwing the football, someone needs to take my name, here you go,” said Derrick.
She became far better known for her football abilities than her softball skills; even though she is a former America East Rookie of the Year, and holds the UMaine softball single season home run record. “I’m more than a girl that can throw a football far, and I feel like for a little while that’s all people knew me as, even when I was playing softball, like I’d go to stony brook and they’d go “Oh that’s the girl that threw the football,” said Derrick.
Once she wrapped up with the Black Bears and graduated from UMaine, it was on to her working life until COVID-19 reared its head. Derrick was laid off from the gym she was employed at.
Then, she got an email in late June. “[I had] just put a deposit in to EMT school then it was like, just kidding, you’re going to go play professional football in Houston, Texas, stop what you’re doing and prepare,” said Derrick.
Derrick signed a contract with the Houston Stampede last week; a team in the upstart Women’s Football League Association set to debut this spring. She’s hoping her throwing skills translate from the diamond to the gridiron: “people in softball know me as having a cannon, at third base and the outfield I throw the ball hard, and I think just having those softball mechanics I can throw a football.”
At 6’3″, Derrick has the build to be a successful quarterback, but she has been reaching out to quarterback coaches to learn the game before her first season. “I’m just trying to get as much information as I possibly can and as much help as I can in order to get serious about this because I am serious about this, I want to learn I want to be QB1,” said Derrick.