La Feria News

Mother and daughter now ‘sisters’ on the gridiron

Mara, left, and Ami Tatum may be mother and daughter, but they are also “sisters” on the football field as they both play for the RGV Vixens. Photo by Kevin Narro / RSL

By JUSTIN LUCKEY
RSL

There have been plenty of families centered around sports.

The Mannings (Archie, Peyton and Eli), the Griffeys (Ken Sr. and Jr.) and the Williams sisters (Serena and Venus) are just a few examples.

The Rio Grande Valley has its own sports family, however, in the Tatums.

Sky Tatum was an extremely successful football player as well as a track & field star for Harlingen South. He’s gone on to continue his throwing at the next level, competing for UTRGV. But while Sky is no longer competing in football, his mom, Mara Tatum, and sister, Ami Tatum, are picking up the slack as they suit up with the RGV Vixens. This is Mara’s fourth year playing for the Vixens while it’s Ami’s first season playing for the team.

“She’s actually been wanting to play since I started playing football, but she wasn’t old enough to play at the time. Now she is finally old enough to play and it’s a blessing, and she’s super excited,” Mara said.

Ami just graduated this year from Harlingen South and at 17 years old is playing wide receiver for the Vixen’s while Mara provides the blocking at the center position. Although they are mother and daughter, they see things a little differently when in pads and on the field.

“I really look up to my mom and my mom really helps me stay motivated to keep going, and keep pushing. I just really look up to her as a more experienced player,” Ami says.

Mara added, “On the field we are Vixen sisters, so she is my daughter but, on the field, I see her as one of my football sisters, so it’s really just a special bond. At home I’m sweet, nurturing and loving, but on the field it’s a different mode of getting things done. This being Ami’s first time and having her just go at it is really inspiring to me as a mom.”

The two recently played in a game together on June 20 when Vixens faced off against the Corpus Christi Divas in XFFL playoff semifinals. The Vixens won the game to advance to the XFFL championship, which was played on June 27 against the Texas Phoenix Fire.

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