By Annette P. Gomes, Warrior Care and TransitionApril 25, 2017
Sgt. 1st Class Shonta Tucker considers herself a "die-hard" Dallas Cowboys fan.
In February, Tucker, a Platoon Sergeant at Fort Hood's Warrior Transition Unit, was one of 50 Soldiers competing in the Dallas Cowboys Military NFL Combine at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The all-day event featured four events that aspiring professional football players complete at the NFL Combine -- the 40-yard dash, L-line drill, two minutes of pushups and a vertical jump.
"I have been a sprinter since 8th grade and I've always dominated in the 100 yard dash, 4x100 and 4x400 relays. I also was able to high jump five feet as a high school track and field athlete," Tucker said. "I always wanted to compete in a competition that would show a lot more of my athletic skills, so this was my opportunity."
Those skills were on full display when she jumped seven feet during the broad jump competition. That distance was good enough to help land her the top female spot at the combine. Tucker, along with Spc. Tavon Johnson, will have the honor of announcing the Cowboys 4th round pick during the 2017 NFL Draft on April 29th at the Philadelphia City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"It was an experience of a life time and I've enjoyed every minute of it. I'm very competitive and I love the natural adrenaline I get when I win."
While she's grateful for the experience, Tucker says she began preparing well in advance for the competition.
"I trained at the Hood Stadium with my daughters. I would run the 40 yard dash and they would time me. At home, I would jump in the volleyball area to help with my broad jump. My cadre friends would assist me with drills to increase my speed and give me pointers on what to do to jump higher and improve my vertical jump. I feel overjoyed and excited! This is definitely a bucket list item. Hard Work Pays Off. Go Cowboys!" she cheered.
Tucker is currently working on completing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and packing for her trip to Philadelphia.