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Red Oak Girls Determined, Playing Football With Boys

Carol Cavazos, CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM
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RED OAK (CBSDFW.COM) – A 14-year-old on the Red Oak Junior High school football team isn’t your typical player.

First, there’s the waist long hair. Second, this football player is a girl. And, she’s not the only girl playing for the Red Oak Junior High School football team.

Most parents who live in Texas want their kids to play football. Tabitha Hall wanted her 14-year-old to play anything else.

“Why not play something where you’re not going to get quite as beat up?! And, not be playing with the boys!” Hall remembers saying.

Her daughter is number 88 on the Red Oak Junior High School football team.

“I wasn’t completely, like, thrown under the bus but once she started going after me, ‘Mom, I really want to play. I’m not just tell you this. I really want to play! I was like ‘Okay, but you’re going to get hurt. You have back problems already,” Hall remembers telling her daughter.

Sabrina shrugged it off. “I’ve always liked to play football with family and friends. I heard there was a girl two years ago that was a kicker. So, I wanted to play.”

“I don’t see it any different. Girls can do what boys can do,” she said.

“This was since the end of 5th grade, she wanted to play. And so, 6th grade and last year, we were fighting it,” said Tabitha Hall.

Sabrina plays wide receiver and safety on the 8th grade “C” team. She stands 5-feet-5-inches tall and weighs 120 pounds.

“The boys outweigh her by 20 to 40 pounds. They also weighed in with some expected attitude.

Tabitha Hall said, “We were standing in line to get her equipment and the boys were like, ‘Sabrina, you gonna play football with us? You won’t last. You can’t handle what we have to do. We work hard. This isn’t a Powder Puff game.”

Sabrina practices with everyone else at 6:15 in the morning for two and a half hours before school.

Coach Johnny Johnson said, “She’s a young lady that plays football. And, she’s actually pretty decent.”

“Her inspiration was a girl we had here a couple of years ago by the name of Carly English,” he said.

“She was very, very good. She could kick 35-40 yard field goals in the eighth grade,” said Coach Johnson.

But, it’s not just the 8th grade girls who want to play. Just ask Natali Moreno. She plays inside receiver and inside linebacker on the 7th grade Red Oak Junior High School football team.

Natali’s mom, April Bailey, couldn’t talk Natali out of it either.

“You get your determination from me and the more I tell you no, the more you’re going to want it. So, I better just go with it and root for you the whole way through,” Bailey said.

How long does Natali want to play?  “A long time,” she said.

The thing is, most kids in Texas want to play football too, even girls.

The head coach at Red Oak Junior High School says the district doesn’t keep anyone from playing football.

(© Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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