Kentucky Karma folds after 7 years

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 Ideas can be hard to come by. Sometimes those ideas just need a little nudge before they become something. For some local women, the idea of throwing like a girl became more than just a saying; it became a way of life.
    For over seven years, the Kentucky Karma brought women from all over the state to represent a simple idea —  to play football. Based out of Crestwood, the Karma was Kentucky’s first competitive women’s football team.
      Former Karma owner and head coach Tom Hawkins knew he had an opportunity on his hands to form the team, and that’s exactly why he took the initiative in the first place to put it together after friend Terri Hasley turned him on to the idea.
     Hawkins has coached football for more than 30 years, including most recently at Oldham County High School. But starting up and organization such as this one was something out of the ordinary for him.
    “I thought it would be neat to start something from scratch, Hawkins said. “At the time, I liked the idea of building a team and building the organization. I thought women playing football was a great idea. There were areas of the country that had teams already, but taking a team in this city and taking a sport that has always typically been told that it’s a man’s sport, was special.”
     Hawkins purchased the original franchise in 2005. After holding local tryouts and putting together a coaching staff, his vision had become a reality. The Kentucky Karma had been formed. Hawkins said that in terms of structuring, it wasn’t any different than putting together a guy’s team.
     “At my age, being older, I grew up with a mentality that you simply out work other people,” Hawkins said. “You can recruit and have tryouts, but in the end, you’re at the mercy of who shows up.”
     Finally, after his team formed and his hardworking mentality was instilled, Hawkins and the Karma joined the National Women’s Football Association for their first season in 2005. After joining the league, the Karma posted back-to-back five and three records in their first two seasons. Their third and final year in the NWFA was their most successful, notching a first place record (6-2) in the South East Division, before losing in the Southern Conference Semifinal Playoffs.   
    The Karma left the NWFA for the Women’s Football Alliance in 2009. It was here they remained for an additional three years, before folding in 2012.
     Coach Hawkins says that there were a number of reasons why the team folded this year, but believes that at the end of the day he stuck to his roots.
    “My mom always said that there’s only two ways to do things, the wrong way and the right way,” Hawkins said. “I always felt that it took very little more effort to do the right thing. Everyone being younger didn’t always agree with me, but that’s what I wanted to be known for.”
     Hawkins says that after coaching for as long as he has, he thought he’d seen everything. While the Karma may not be suiting up their football pads and cleats for this year, he says that in the end, this was one of the most unique experiences that he had ever had throughout his coaching tenure.
    “Good friends and good people are hard to come by, and I’ve been blessed with more than I deserve,” Hawkins said. “I always believed in my priorities, which were God first, family second, close friends third, and football fourth. My prayer is that you can respect what I tried to do and why I tried to do it.”   

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