A former fullback in a women’s professional football league decided to hang up the pads and put on a new uniform - a religious habit. Anne Yoches used to be a fullback for the Detroit Demolition in the now defunct National Women’s Football Association. After retiring from football, Yoches decided to follow a religious path and chose to become a Franciscan nun. Now known as Sister Rita Clare Yoches, she is set to take her final vows at the end of June.
Yoches was described as a tough, hard-nosed player who helped lead the Demolition to four national titles in her four years on the team.
“Just tough. Hard-nosed, physical,” Demolition coach Tony Blankenship said. “In comparison to just a tough NFL fullback. Someone who will hit you in the mouth, go right at you. Very tough. Still very athletic, and just really, really skilled.”
During her playing days, Yoches said she "lived a crazy wild party life" and kept her faith to herself.
“I lived a crazy wild party life before I converted,” Yoches said. “I kept my faith to myself before all of this, so people were very surprised that this was really who and what I wanted to do and be.”
Everything changed for Yoches in March 2007 when she had a religious experience while praying for a friend. After the experience, she broke up with her boyfriend on the spot and told her family and friends that she was giving up her life as a hard-nosed football player to dedicate herself to serving God. Her decision shocked them but they were supportive. She said that she missed her old life at first, but has no regrets about her decision.
“It’s just a part of the beautiful journey that God has us all on,” Yoches said. “I really do believe the Lord used everything and has led me to where I was and where I was supposed to be at each moment to make me into who I was meant to be.”