At South Plantation High School in Florida, the football team’s third-string quarterback is an unusual pick for the position at only 5 feet, 5 inches and weighing in at 140 pounds.
The team’s starting quarterback has offers from Navy and Air Force, and the star running back is committed to Miami. But this backup quarterback has a strong arm, a purposeful throw and the faith of her team.
Oh, that’s right – she’s also a girl.
Erin DiMeglio, 17, is the state’s first female quarterback as far as anyone knows. She’s far from the first girl who’s ever played high school football, but on Aug. 31 under the Friday night lights, she made history when she ran onto the field with 1:40 left on the clock in the fourth quarter and took the reins.
“My friends all think I’m crazy,” the high school senior told The New York Times. “But they also think it’s pretty cool.”
She’s not on the team out of pity or novelty – DiMeglio has been drawn to football since her father, a police officer, taught her to throw when she was young. In fourth grade, she joined a flag football team and was the only quarterback among the four girls on the 90-person team. At South Plantation, she’s the quarterback of the girls’ flag football team and the point guard on the girls’ varsity basketball team.
She’s no different with the boys, except that she wears a ponytail and changes in a separate locker room. When other teams’ players are disrespectful, her teammates are quick to stand up for her.
But DiMeglio doesn’t want special treatment or attention.
“I’m just out here to prove myself,” she told ABC. "I’m just going to prove it by doing it on the field.”
Watch DiMeglio in her first play below: