Erin DiMeglio

by noticingbones

I saw this chick floating around Tumblr (which will probably be a common statement from me) the other day and had to make a post about her.

Now, female football players, although rare, are not an unheard of thing, but what makes Erin awesome is that she isn’t settling for being the punter (or whatever that position is called–you know the one where all they really do is kick field goals?  Man, you would think as many football games as I have had to sit through some of these technical terms would have been absorbed somewhat…oh well. Edit: Jessa has informed me that oddly enough that position is called a kicker.  (‘–_–)).  Nope, Erin, not content to be regulated to brief periods of field play, has become one of the first high school female football quarterbacks in the state of Florida.  AND SHE IS EXPECTED TO PLAY AND TAKE HITS AND EVERYTHING THAT ENTAILS.  Awww yeah.

DiMeglio started practicing with the boys last spring because she found it frustrating that girls from her flag football teams complained that she threw too hard.  So the boy’s coach invited her to practice with the regular football team and she took to it immediately, and even requested to come back to practice with them again.

Coach Doug Gatewood told her “Sure, but you’re not playing…She wore me down and she wore her parents down.”

While her parents worry about seeing their daughter get tackled, DiMeglio, who was also the star point guard for her school’s girls’ basketball team, reminded them she had suffered a broken nose, a torn labrum, dislocated fingers and a concussion, and that maybe all that padding she’d have to wear might prevent future injuries.

“Everybody says, ‘What happens when she gets hit?’ ” Gatewood said. “This isn’t a knock on Erin, but she’s bigger than 10 kids on my team. I have a wide receiver that weighs 25 pounds less than her. And the pads she wears are the same as the pads he wears.”

Gatewood has told DiMeglio that she might not see any action this season. The chances of her entering a game are slim, South Plantation will probably have a sizable lead and be trying to run out the clock.

But it doesn’t seem to faze DiMeglio.

“My friends all think I’m crazy,” she said. “But they also think it’s pretty cool.”

Even the boys on her team are rallying behind her:

“People don’t believe it when they see her at first,” John Franklin III, who is the passer above Dimeglio on the South Plantation depth chart, told the Herald. “Most girls go to teams and can’t do anything. But she can actually play, could probably start for a few teams. She can throw slants, drags, any of that stuff. She threw about a 30-yard fly route to me for a touchdown up in Tampa — five TDs in all.”

So this chick rocks.  She’s not even afraid of all the tackling and contact like everybody else is, and I must say in all the reporting on her this is the only bit that miffs me.  It’s not like this girl doesn’t know what she’s doing, to quote DiMeglio:

“My [older] sister [Amy] thinks I’m crazy, but I just think this is so much fun. I’ve played flag football since the fourth grade. Scoring on boys is really fun, just to see their reactions, see the coaches get mad. I’ll be nervous, yeah. But this is like any other game. You just have to get in the zone and play.”

So good luck to Erin, and I hope she gets some decent field time.  I may not know anything about football or enjoy watching it, but it’s clear this girl loves to play.  I hope to pick up more news about her soon.

–Megan

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