HAGERMAN, N.M. (AP) — Miracle Rey is about to make history in her southeastern New Mexico town.
She will be the first female football player to don pads at Hagerman High School when the team faces off against the Capitan Tigers on Aug. 24 to start the season, the Roswell Daily Record reported Wednesday.
Rey has always loved watching football with her brothers and asked them to teach her how to play. She would play in the streets with them without pads or equipment. She didn’t mind getting scrapes and scratches.
Her mother gave her permission to play football in the eighth grade, she said.
Rey’s father was initially against her playing football, but he came around after watching her play.
“He told me to never cry and after he watched me play against Loving, he said, ‘Do what you have the skill to do and you’re doing it,’ ” Rey said.
Her teammates have treated her like she is one of the guys, and they don’t go easy on her just because she is a girl, she said.
One of her biggest challenges is lifting weights and getting the bar over her head. But Rey knows that she will need to get stronger in the weight room to play at a high level.
Her coach, Guy Rivers, said he believes that with hard work, Rey will be able to play and become a good lineman in time.
“I think she (Rey) has brought some of the ‘if a girl can do it, so can I,’” Rivers said. “She comes out here and sticks it out and pulls our ties — why can’t I. She is always smiling and talking, which is a positive.”
Rey’s dream is to become the first woman to play in the NFL.
Information from: Roswell Daily Record, http://www.roswell-record.com