By Natalie Staib
At the start of the school year, MCHS students were challenged by @mustangculture to #raisethebar this year. Senior Rebecca Green raises the bar every single day that she laces up her cleats and straps on her helmet. She is currently the only female on the football team and is just one of around 2000 female athletes who play high school football across the country. If 2000 seems like a big number to you, then you should know that there are over 1 million male athletes.
Imagine playing a sport for the first time your senior year. Now imagine that you are also the only person of your gender on a team of 60 plus members. The decision to play football could not have been easy for Rebecca, yet she still chose football, a sport that many people still consider too dangerous for female athletes.
“I like a challenge, and I like to lift weights,” Rebecca said when asked why she didn’t want to play a more “feminine” sport.
Rebecca receives no special treatment or extra protection, and she would never accept any extra help even if it was available. She receives the same coaching, equipment, and weight training as everyone else, just the way she wants it, and according to defensive coordinator Sean McCullough, she is able play just as aggressive as the boys.
“When she takes a hit, she stands up strong and tackles just as fast as the boys,” McCullough said. “She knows the physical demand of the sport and still chooses to play.”
Rebecca’s position varies from wide receiver, corner, and to outside linebacker. During the game at Marshfield while playing outside linebacker she successfully tackled an opponent who was carrying the ball. Followed closely behind by Bradley Sayer, she took him down, and Bradley attacked second. The opposing player fell on Rebecca then Bradley fell on him. Despite Rebecca’s “frail female body” being smashed by two other people, she still managed to stop her opponent.
Not to say, Rebecca’s current success on the field didn’t come without challenges. Her first couple of practices were awkward because the boys on the team had adjust to having a girl around when playing such a physically tough sport.
“The more I get to know my teammates the more comfortable I get,” Rebecca said. “It took a bit for the boys to get used to me, which is understandable. They just weren’t used to having a girl around and didn’t know what to expect.”
Now that everyone is used to her, Rebecca really enjoys the team atmoshpere.
“I really like the way everyone behaves like a family on this team,” Rebecca said. “I love the group dinners.”
I asked Rebecca if she hoped to inspire other young girls like her who want to play football. She said she thinks that would be great, and she is not the only one.
“I would not at all mind if her example inspired other girls with the same competitive attitude to join the team in the future,” McCullough said.