SAINT LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY)– Lawtell Elementary in St. Landry Parish is experiencing some firsts this season with introducing the first females to play for their team.
Maddison Dabney ,13, and Ja’Vonnia Reese, 12, are tackling stereotypes and making history at Lawtell Elementary. Playing in their first football game, both girls are showing they have what it takes.
Both Dabney and Reese are starting lineman on both offense and defense for the Trojans. Dabney and Reese said their main goal is to prove that girls can play football.
“Football is a competitive sport, and I could show y’all that girls could play it too. It’s not just a boy’s sport,” Dabney said.
“This year they decided to let girls play so I’m going prove them wrong,” Reese said.
Dabney said although football is a tough sport and practices are out in the heat, she’s built for it and can take any hit coming her way. She said she’s a tough girl who had always wanted to play football because, growing up, she’d watch her older brother play, and he’s always been her inspiration. He’s the one who encouraged her to try out for the team.
Assistant coaches Jordan Jason and Tyler Williams said it’s the first time their school has female football players on the team and that will not change the way they coach the team. They say the girls work just as hard as their male teammates and put in the same effort to help their team win.
“Both of the girls that we have on our team, they both rose to the occasion,” Jason said. “They did everything that we needed them too so we proud of them and we know that they’re capable of playing out there with those boys.”
“The girls take the lesson and the coaching as well as the boys if not better than the boys sometimes,” Williams said. “And they also are well disciplined and know how to carry themselves as football players.”
Playing in their first game, Dabney and Reese said they are excited, and win or lose, football is their sport and they’re here to stay.