Barriers crossed in Plantation Florida
This year, Erin DeMeglio made history becoming the first female player to play quarterback in a High School football game in the United States. She did so by entering a game with 1:35 left in the 4th quarter. There was no story book ending, as her team already had the game in control in the end but the real story is all of the different cultural angles at play in this story.
Beginning with the fact that in 2012, Erin is the first female QB to take a snap. There are roughly 700 girls playing organized football in the States right now but none of them play quarterback. As mentioned in a previous post, the QB position has been the most difficult position for any marginalized person to make a break through in. As the on field leader and typically most cerebral position, coaches have always been hesitant to put someone out of the “norm” at the quarterback position. Clearly, the time and the situation was right in Erin’s case, for her to have a chance to show what she can do.
From manager/water girl to an avid participant in flag football to her school’s Varsity team, Erin’s rise in the last few years has been meteoric. Her coach, Doug Gatewood, saw ability to throw and toughness and decided to help groom her for her debut.
Lastly, it is extremely ironic and almost fitting that Erin is making her mark for South Plantation High School! Who knew there were still schools named as such, especially in the deep south. Isn’t that the name of a school that Chris Griffin and the Quahog HS football team should be playing? In no way am I trying to belittle the accomplishment that is being made at this school to break a gender barrier but the fact that its being done at South Plantation High School is unreal! This landmark barrier breaking feat is being done by young woman whose school’s name reminds us of past barriers and limits around minorities. It is almost Disney like.
(P.S. I’m sure Disney will have this film made within the next 3 years as a gender-switched revisit of the Notre Dame classic Rudy starring Selena Gomez as Erin DeMeglio and Joey Lawrence as the head coach).