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Girl power on the gridiron
Football at Coupeville High School this season is not a “guys only” sport.
Fourteen-year-old Mary Massengale is listed on the 45-person Wolf Pack roster and she isn’t just a freshman with a big dream, she has football experience.
“I played on the middle school team for the last two years and I was on the eighth-grade varsity last season,” she said.
Slight of build even though she plays the guard or tackle positions, Massengale employs her speed and quickness to compensate for a relative lack of size.
Most of the time when girls are listed on a football roster, they are ex-soccer players with the ability to convert field goals from considerable distances or kick extra points, but Massengale is different.
“I enjoy playing on the line, that’s what I did in middle school,” she said.
Massengale is also different because she is an only child without brothers who might have influenced her decision to don shoulder pads and a helmet, and get after it on the gridiron.
“I just decided to play football, I thought it would be a fun thing to do and it is,” she said.
Coupeville head coach Ron Bagby said it’s not an easy thing to do for either a boy or a girl to play high school football.
“If that’s what she wants to do, more power to her,” he said.
As far as the locker room situation is concerned, Bagby said they just wait until everyone else has changed clothes and then they turn the facilities over to her.
Massengale said her fondest memory of playing football so far was the final eighth-grade game of the season. “We won and that was pretty fun,” she said.
As far as future goals, Massengale said she just wants to complete this season.
“If I do, I’ll be the first Coupeville girl in history to make it through an entire season,” she said. “There was another girl out for the team once, but she quit after the first game.”
Massengale said the other players on the team treat her pretty much the same as everyone else.
“I’m just one of the guys,” she said.