‘When I scored, it was like the best feeling ever’
Sophomore Taniya Lee stands on the football practice field on Nov. 22. Lee was the only female on the team during the 2019 JV football season. “I remember a moment where I was carried by two offensive linemen for about 30 yards, and then I remember coach yelling at me that I couldn’t get carried like that again,” Lee said. (ESSEX POTTS | SNN)
BY DEMETRIO MARTIN
SNN Staff Writer
When sophomore Taniya Lee heads onto the football field, gender is not a factor.
“(The opposing team doesn’t) recognize that I’m a girl until halftime when I take my helmet off, and when they do see me, they continue to treat me like everyone else,” Lee said.
Lee is a junior varsity football player and is held to the same standards as her teammates when it comes to practice and in games.
“We treat her like everyone else, she gets hit and tackled, too,” said JV football player Charles Billue, a sophomore.
The JV team finished the season 7-0. Lee has played in all seven games and had one touchdown on her stat sheet against Osceola High School.
“When I scored it was like the best feeling ever,” Lee said.
Lee, a second-string linebacker, also is featured on offense every now and then and is on kick off and kick return.
“She does exactly what she is asked when she is on the field. She also asks questions to better herself,” JV football coach Tracy Teartt said.
Lee said she chooses to play tackle football because flag football is too easy for her.
“I like football, but I really played just to do something and stay active. I played flag football but that’s too soft, so I chose JV football,” Lee said.
She plans to play JV girls’ basketball in the winter and flag football in the spring as she did last year. Next year she will try out for varsity football.
“If she keeps working hard at practices, the sky is the limit if she can make varsity or not,” Teartt said.