Thursday October 02, 2014
For what very well may be the first time ever, football in South Burlington has become a gender-neutral sport; every youth football program in the city currently has a female player. Since late summer training sessions began this season, eight local female athletes have donned their shoulder pads and helmets to play the sport dominated by their male counterparts. Offered in programs throughout the state, the beloved sport of American football is available as early as first through fourth grade for flag football, with tackle programs available at the 5th/6th and 7th/8th grade levels, as well as locally at the high school level with junior varsity and varsity programs. This year’s football-playing females include fourth-graders Sophia Bouffard and Mia Kaczmarek playing flag football, fifth-graders Violet Brigham and Rya Washington, sixth-grader Madison Hebert and seventh-grader Brianna Belisle playing in tackle programs and, at the high school donning the Rebel blue and gray, are junior varsity player Jaydn Holton and varsity player Danielle Boucher. For these athletes, it is not about being a girl on the football field; it’s about being a part of a team in a sport they love to play.