__^_ ^__^ ____. _Jjfl P HOUSTON
Local Lite -
All for the love of the game
When playing football
wasn't enough anymore,
Karen Mones and
partner decided to -
purchase the team.
By KAY DAYUS
Karen Mones, wasn't satisfied getting
roughed up playing football with Houston's
professional women's team, the Houston
Energy. She decided to take more of a beating when she and teammate and partner in
love and business, Stacy Agee, recently
bought the team from Robin Howinton.
They take over as the team enters its
fifth season and so far, no one's really
made any money, Mones said. Players and
owners alike play for the love of the game
not for the love of money.
A personal trainer and fitness expert,
Mones, is beginning her third year with
the team not only as its starting receiver,
but now also as co-owner And from the
sound of her voice, she's excited and
enthusiastic about the team's future.
"We'd sit around and think about what
kind of business we could start." Mones
said. And then along came the chance to
buy the football team and they went for it.
"Some days I wonder what have I got myself
into. But even if we don't make it, I've tried
for a dream I wanted."
Always the competitor, Mones has
played sports since she was a kid. from
peewee leagues to club soccer in college,
and a host of other intramural sports.
When she graduated from Beliaire High
School in 1992, one of her awards was
Best Female Athlete of the Year.
After high school, she went to
Southwest Texas State University, where
she got her bachelor's degree in exercise
and sports science with a minor in health
and wellness. She then went to Southern
Illinois University, where she got her master's degree in sports management with a
ft MORE INFO
First Home Came of the Season
Houston Energy vs. Dallas Diamonds
7 p.m Saturday
Rice University Stadium
Not only is 30-year-old Karen Mones a player and co-owner of the Houston Energy, she runs her own women-only fitness bootcamp.
concentration in sports psychology.
Still not satisfied with her credentials,
she got her personal training certification
from Baylor Sports Medicine Institute.
She then went to work as a personal trainer for 24-Hour Fitness, helping people
achieve their fitness and weight goals.
Mones now works full time as a fitness
specialist for BMC Software's corporate
But that's not the only hat she wears.
This 30-year old, brimming over with
energy, is owner and trainer of her own
boot camp—yes, that's boot camp, and it's
styled after military boot camps. The difference is, enlistees only have to sign up
for four weeks instead of years.
But it's a tough four weeks. Boot camp
is for women only and the tough only Up
before the crack of dawn, they meet from
5 a.m. until 6 a.m., Monday through
Friday. The training is aimed at superior
"We do exercises, running, jumping
jacks, lunges and obstacles," Mones said.
She said some women are already fit and
enlist to get fitter, while some to merely
want to get fit and lose weight.
A hundred percent Energy
adays, when she's not doing personal training, she said she's "one hundred
percent Houston Energy" And running
Houston Energy is a lot of work. "Although
the season runs from August through
October, we start in mid January trying to
get sponsorships for the next season."
There's alsb travel and accommodations to be arranged for away games. They
traveled to Dallas for their first game this
season. Unfortunately, they lost that game
by the narrow margin of 28-26.
mind, assured Mones. "We're going to get
them when they get to play here."
Last weekend they traveled to
Indianapolis where they soundly beat
the Indiana Speed by 64-6.
In the Women's Professional football
League for five years, the Houston
Energy won the championship for the
first three years, but didn't make the
playoffs last year. Mones said the goal
this year is to regain the crown.
Mones is always on the go and never
seems to slow down. She talks so fast it's
hard to keep up with her. She doesn't have
much time for fun and recreation and
rarely enough time for her pit bull, Sho'ka.
"She's so sweet. Owners are the reason pit
bulls get a bad rep," she said. Sho'ka
(which means second child) is so sweet.
she recently ran away from a cat.
Mimes despises and defies labels. She does
not see herself as a lesbian, bi-sexual or heterosexual. Her relationship with Agee is her
first with a woman, and she said, she is not
nut to make any grand announcement about
her sexual orientation. She is simply herself
She also bristles when people suggest
or assume that all the players on the team
are lesbians. "They are all kinds of
women -a lot of different women with
different experiences. Some are mal
and some have children."
They all sacrifice a lol to play, said
Mones. "They play for the love of the
game. They dedicate their time and effort
to play. That was never available to them
before versus spending time with their
families." And they basically do it for free.
"The players pay to play. They have Io End
sponsors to fund their travel and uniforms. They can keep 25 percent of their
sponsorship money, but that's all."
The team plays at Rice Stadium. "We
average 700 to 800 people a game, and
they look lost in such a big stadium,"
Mones said. "You look out at all those
seats, and they are all empty." Ideally.
they would like to find a smaller stadium that would seem more crowded.
Mones and Agee have little time for anything but football right now. No time to travel and little time to have fun. They have to
wait until the end of the season lor that.
Then they may take a trip- though not to a
quiet beach to relax bin to bustling Las
Vegas. When you're as accustomed io activi
ty as Mones and Agee, it's hard slow down