Porter Wilson Award 2002
Mashonda Gilmore - Buford, Georgia, USA
Lyte N Tyte
In keeping with her unselfish nature, and ultimately always trying to promote, and further advance the sport of football, in 2000, Gilmore facilitated an after school program in which the team adopted two metro Atlanta middle schools, Campbell, and Griffin, mentoring young girls in the game of flag football, and sportsmanship.
Just getting started, there seems to be no end to the mark Lyte-n-Tyte will make as they march onward, guided by their passionate president. In 2002 many of LNT' starting players found themselves chosen to play for the Atlanta Leopards, the city' professional women's tackle football team, and a member of the National Women's Football League. During the year in which Gilmore added yet another title to her growing list, later invited to join the Leopards as their General Manager. When the GWFFL closed the 2002 season, and following the absence of the league's commissioner, Gilmore was yet again tapped to lend her polished business acumen to another group, and assumed the title of league commissioner.
How do you a place a price on someone who inspires, encourages, and transcends wisdom far beyond her years. You can't. This was just the first half of her life, so one can only imagine what the next chapter has in store, and only hope to see that old faithful, familiar number 13 roaming the sidelines for many years to come. One only need look to see that Gilmore's well on her way to achieving the stuff that legends are made of. Therefore, the Lyte Tyte Lady Warriors organization without hesitation hereby nominate our President Mashonda D. Gilmore for the International Women's Flag Football Association' Porter Wilson Award.
Over a dozen nominations were sent to the office of the IWFFA in 2002, from teams and fans who knew of women and men dedicated to the sport of Flag Football. Congraduations to Mashonda Gilmore for her dedication, work and good sportship she has demonstrated for the sport.
When a man looks back on his life, after all's said and done, the true measure of that is how he lived his life, and the legacy he leaves for those around him. If you believe leaders are born, not made, then the recipe for the woman Mashonda Gilmore would become was started more than thirty years ago on June 11, 1971. So how does someone so young reach the level of wisdom necessary to rise above the ordinary? Instilled with an incredible work ethic, and nurtured in a loving family environment in Fayetteville, North Carolina, success was never beyond reach for Gilmore, who excelled in a wide array of interests.
After moving to Atlanta in 1994, Gilmore soon found herself surrounded by others who shared her developing passion for football. An avid all around athlete, Gilmore was a standout long distance runner in high school, later turning her attention to flag football, but the genesis of what would evolve into the formation of the Lyte-n-Tyte Lady Warriors would come at high personal cost. Blessed with an extraordinary sense of compassion that belies her years, it was that gentle spirit that was shattered in 1996 with the sudden passing of her best friend, Valerie Morgan. On the wings of her faith in Christ, Gilmore found a way to channel her grief into positive motivation, and from there the groundwork was laid for what would become Lyte-n-Tyte. Like a woman on a mission, Gilmore, along with a group of friends formed the Lyte n Tyte Lady Warriors Flag Football team in the summer of 1997. And in no more a fitting tribute, Gilmore adopted her fallen friend's number 13, and took to the field with the rest of Lyte-n-Tyte, leading them to the championship in that first year of competition in the Georgia Women's Flag Football League. Always a player at heart, Gilmore nonetheless found herself retired to the sidelines by a severe knee injury, effectively ending her playing days. Discovering a affinity for managing, Gilmore' stewardship of the organization propelled them to subsequent league titles again in 2000, and 2001, and a fifth place finish in national competition for the United States Flag and Touch Football League in 1998. And in what became a season to remember, Gilmore' Lady Warriors capped the 2001 championship in the GWFFL by also capturing their first title in the 2002 Kelly McGillis International Flag Football Championships competitive division, leaving Lyte nTyte 15-0 for a remarkable 2001-2002 season.