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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Female football player turns heads in Wellington youth league

  • When Emma Stover began cheerleading in first grade, all she did was look at the football players and said she wanted to be out on the field playing, her dad, Tyler Stover, said.
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  • by Amber Schmitz
    When Emma Stover began cheerleading in first grade, all she did was look at the football players and said she wanted to be out on the field playing, her dad, Tyler Stover, said.
    "She kept saying she wanted to play football, so I let her play the next year," Stover said. "She wants to keep going, and she plays really well."
    The Kennedy Elementary fifth grader decided to start playing three years ago, because she thought that it looked like fun.
    "It's really fun, but I'd like to try volleyball," Emma said.
    Emma, the daughter of Tyler Stover and Jessica Schwandt has two brothers and a sister.
    "My favorite thing is tackling," Emma said. "I also love it when I'm at a game, and the other team knows I'm a girl and we beat them."
    Stover said that she plays offense and defense, and she said she loves playing defense. She said the boys on the team don't care that she's a girl.
    "She has been one of the starting lineman since second grade, and she is one of the better linemen" coach Anthony Smith said. "She's pretty good at clearing holes. I think some of the boys on other teams think they're going to beat a girl, until they pick themselves off the grass."
    Smith said the team has had a winning record since they started, and they play really well. The boys on the team, he said, think it's normal to have a girl on the team, and cheer her on like they do the boys.
    "She's definitely a pure athlete, no matter what sport she plays," Smith said.

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