By Leticia Juarez
ARCADIA, California (KABC) — It’s no surprise that girls play football. But when Arcadia High School’s football coach asked three sophomores to consider joining the team, it came as a bit of shock.
“I was kind of surprised, and I didn’t think he was being serious. I just thought it was a joke, like why would you have girls on a football team?” said Victoria Kenworthy.
Victoria Kenworthy, Morgan Zimmerman and Kayla Ibrahim are on their high school’s soccer team. Their skill at kicking got them walk-on spots on the varsity team. That was the easy part.
“I didn’t know there were kickers until I was one,” said Kenworthy.
“It’s really different than soccer. It’s a lot bulkier and a lot more stuff, and it smells really bad,” said Zimmerman.
Over the course of the summer, the three trained with their new teammates who were still warming to the idea.
“It wasn’t easy at first. I guess a lot of them were iffy about it. They are good people,” said Zimmerman.
Each of the ladies has a job on the field. Kenworthy handles the kickoffs, while Zimmerman is the place kicker. Ibrahim who is responsible for the punts recalls her first time taking the field.
“I cannot mess this up I cannot do bad right now. So, when they said punting, punting, and I ran out I felt a little scared, but I was like, you got this,” said Ibrahim.
While it’s not unusual for a girl to play football it’s not typical to find three on a roster at the same time.
“These girls are breaking down walls and breaking down barriers. I’m just glad I get to be a part of that,” said Coach Antoine Sims.
According to the National Federation of State High School Association, girls’ participation in high school tackle football has grown since 2008, with California ranking number one with girls playing on the gridiron.
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