Kids Sports News Network

More Girls in Football

Girl Football

Girls Taking the Football Field

When an elementary school teacher noticed that one of the little girls was spending recess playing football with the boys, she contacted her student’s father about her concerns.  Clearly, this behavior was worrisome and the girl shouldn’t be playing football.  The father was unconcerned knowing that his sons never took it easy on his daughter just because she was a girl and that she could hold her own.  After a few months, the girl was still playing football at school.  The teacher talked with the dad again, but he had never told his daughter to stop.  This same girl, Sam Gordon, has been playing league football now for two years for which she has received much attention.  Almost all sports were considered “boys sports” until some brave girl jumped into the game.

Sam Gordon started out playing soccer, but her interest in football was inspired by her father’s stories of BYU football player Luke Staley and his quickness on the field.  Gordon wears hersey number six in honor of Staley, who she met after a Gremlin playoff game.  When her older brother, Max, started playing tackle football, Sam ran the speed drills on the side of the field.  She was already beating most of the players on the team, and the coach challenged his team to “Beat Gordon’s sister!”  Her speed and natural skill impressed her coach, Chris Staib, who picked her for his B5 team, second only to his own son.  While Sam had hoped to play for an A-team, it was incredibly important to her that she ended up with a coach who believed in her even though she is a girl.  Her first year, she scored 35 touchdowns and ran 1911 rushing yards as a running back for the Gremlin age group of the Ute conference.  When a highlights video went viral, Sam drew the attention from the sports world and media alike.  She even met her heroes, Abby Wamback and Alex Morgan, from the US Women’s National soccer team.

Sam Gordon also shares her unique experiences in a book titled “Sweet Feet: Samantha Gordon’s Winning Season” written by family friend, Ari Bruening, and foreword by Abby Wambach.  Sam knows that her story isn’t just about her but “what we can accomplish even when other people think we can’t.”  While boys can look to role models and dream of playing professional football or running for president, girls have to believe their dreams are possible sometimes without examples.  “I want all girls to believe that they are really great and can do great things if they set high goals and work hard,” says Sam. “I hope my story will inspire girls to have big dreams, too.  Little girls can do big things!”  The message she hopes kids take away from her book is “don’t be afraid to try new things.  It might be hard.  You might get your face full of snow because you just got tackled.  Just overcome your fears.  It’s not going to be too hard, just don’t be afraid to do it.”

Whether Sam Gordon fulfills Green Bay Packers CEO prediction that she will be the first female player in the NFL, the glass ceiling was originally broken by Linda Jefferson and the Toledo Troopers.  It took a viral sensation to get the first female football player on a Wheaties box.  And, soon, we will see women playing football on the big screen.  Brent Leonard has been working on a new movie, “Perfect Season.”  The Toledo Troopers were one of the first all-women’s football teams after the 1972 federal civil rights act outlawed sex discrimination in education and college sports.  The team’s star running back, Linda Jefferson, now 59, is one of four women inducted into the American Association Football Hall of Fame.  The team won seven consecutive national championships from 1971-1977.  Something between Remember the Titans and A League of Their Own, the movie is scheduled to premiere this fall.  Between “Perfect Season” and Sam Gordon’s videos, I think we can look forward to seeing a few more girls playing football too.  #WomenCanDoAnything

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Author: Melanie Carbine

Melanie Carbine has degrees in English Literature and Math Education from the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University. She has lived in various parts of the world including Micronesia and the United States.  She currently writes for several education blogs, vlogs about her travels, and teaches middle school in the DC Metro Area.