'Everything's possible:' Bethlehem middle school female football player wants to be role model
- Sairett Rosario is Broughal Middle School's first female football player since the 2017-2018 school year
- She's playing punter and wide receiver
- The team's first game is Sept. 2
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Sairett Rosario has been practicing all summer for her first football game on the Broughal Rockets Middle School football team. She’s the first female football player on the team at least since the 2017-2018 school year.
Rosario, 12, said she decided she wanted to play football because she felt underestimated and wanted to prove she could play as well as the boys when she made the move from Lincoln Elementary School to middle school.
“I just wanted to motivate more girls to see that everything's possible," she said. "And that no matter even if it's an all-boys sport, and everybody says girls can't play, I feel like girls can change that.”
The seventh-grader said some of the boys on the team seemed skeptical she was tough enough to stick with it, but now they’re encouraging her to try tackling. She’s been training to be a punter and a wide receiver. A punter receives the backward-passed ball from the line of scrimmage and then kicks the ball to the opposing team to try to limit field position advantage. A wide receiver catches the ball thrown by the quarterback and sometimes runs the ball.
“I just wanted to motivate more girls to see that everything's possible."Sairett Rosario, a seventh grader at Broughal Middle School
Assistant Football Coach Charles Falteich said Rosario fits in with the other students on the team and is very motivated.
“She asked me to come early today to practice so we could get some work in, whether it's kicking, or whether it's throwing for her receiving routes,” he said. “I think she's gonna be a great addition to the team there.”
Rosario’s mom Glorysell said she immediately encouraged her daughter when she expressed an interest in playing football.
“I was, ‘Do it, do everything,’” she said. “'You need to learn everything. But don't forget your school is more important, you know, but involve yourself in everything.'"
Mother and daughter said they weren’t too concerned about possible injuries Sairett might sustain playing the sport. Falteich said the school has an athletic trainer at all practices and students are encouraged to come early to make sure all of the equipment fits properly.
The middle schooler also said she plans to play other sports this year, including flag football, volleyball and soccer.