Erin DiMeglio, a blonde, ponytailed 17-year-old senior, is making waves at South Plantation High School. She’s all of 5 feet 5 inches and 140 pounds—and she plays quarterback for the school’s football team.
The third-string quarterback for the South Plantation Paladins, DiMeglio has prompted plenty of buzz, as she’s believed to be the first girl to play the position in a Florida high school football game, reported The New York Times.
DiMeglio, who also plays for the school’s girls’ basketball and flag football teams, was invited to practice with the football guys at a workout last spring. She gradually became more involved with the team, after wearing down both football coach Doug Gatewood and her parents, who were worried about DiMeglio getting tackled.
She successfully played in a seven-on-seven tournament last summer at the University of South Florida, holding her own against the boys.
“We’d be warming up, and people would stop over and wait for her to throw to see if she could play,” the Paladins’ starting quarterback, John Franklin, said to The New York Times. “And then they’d walk away like, ‘Oh, they have a girl, and she’s for real.’ ”
And at a recent game on Aug. 31, DiMeglio took two snaps—handing off the ball both times—in a 31-14 win over Nova High School.
Fans and cheerleaders were quick to cheer her on, as were her teammates, who are both supportive and endearingly protective of their female QB.
Sound off: How do you think DiMeglio would fare against male counterparts on other teams? Let us know in the comments.
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Kelly Zhou hails from the Bay Area and is currently a student in Los Angeles. She has written on a variety of topics, predominantly focusing on politics and education. Email Kelly | @kelllyzhou | TakePart.com