From the Sidelines to the Center of the Field

Cheerleader puts down her pom-poms to pick up a football

From+the+Sidelines+to+the+Center+of+the+Field

Elizabeth Ranson, Intro Writer

   As a cheerleader watching on the sidelines, current sophomore Mia Harvey dreamed about playing on the football field as a kid and pursued this dream in the 8th grade. 

   As a kid, Harvey watched football with her family and loved the action involved. She grew up loving football and in the seventh grade, decided she wanted to play.

   Harvey did whatever it took to join the football team. Her parents were worried about her safety, as football is a contact sport, but they managed to work it out. 

   “I was going to play in seventh grade, but my mom wasn’t okay with it,” Harvey said. “My mom said eighth-grade was fine but then in high school, she would not allow me to play varsity because of safety.”

   Sure enough, in eighth grade, Harvey joined the football team as the only girl. She played wide receiver, nose tackle and cornerback. Although other people tried to discourage her, this didn’t stop her.

   “I didn’t care what others thought of me,” she said. “The things they said were bad, but it didn’t faze me at all.”

   Despite all the negative comments, Varsity Football Assistant Coach David Langdon was very supportive of her joining the football team.

   “Every once in a while, the team will have a female on a team,” Langdon said. “Women’s football, specifically tackle football, is starting to rise and get some attention, which I think is great.”

   Harvey felt included and didn’t feel like she was missing out on any football traditions or team-building activities. She loves playing football and said she prefers it over cheerleading. 

   When Harvey joined the team, her teammates treated her like any other player and welcomed her as a part of the football team.

   “They treated her as not just some girl playing but someone who was part of the team,” Langdon said.

   Langdon believes that everyone should have a chance or an opportunity to play any sports no matter their gender. He says they try to let everyone be a part of a sports program.

   “Anytime anybody with a passion for a sport, male or female, we’re all for it,” Langdon said.