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Women's History: Making history by doing what you love

Addy Edwards
addy edwards
Posted at 4:30 AM, Mar 31, 2023
Addy Edwards

Addy Edwards may seem like your typical 13-year-old.

She is a little shy but full of confidence when she hits the football field. It is something that her parents hoped was just phase--Addy proved that it was not.

"I would always say I wanted to play when I was little, but my mom and dad thought it was just a phase," Addy said.

This wide receiver almost missed out on her chance to throw the pig skin with her teammates.

"My dad finally signed the papers to let me play," Add said.

"Does Mom or Dad every get nervous that you're going to get hurt?" I asked.

Addy Edwards: First girl football player at JHS

"My mom said that I'd learn from it," Addy answered. "My dad was more concerned. He didn't want me to get hurt, that's why it took him so long to think about letting me play."

Addy said she does not think about being the only girl on the team or what others may think.

"I don't really know their reaction to it. I don't focus on that."

While Addy may not focus on others, they do think about her out of concern for her safety on the field.

Addy Edwards: first girl football player at JHS

"That was one of my biggest fears as a principal and female that she would be physically and mentally prepared that they will target you," Selena Gomes, principal of Jennings High School, said. "People wanting to show her that she didn't belong out there. Our team just rallied behind her and were super supportive. Our coaches put her in a roll where she could engage in football but wasn't in high contact every time."

Gomes is an athlete herself and said she always pushes her students to try what they love.

"I was excited for her because she had the courage to step out and want to do something different," Gomes said. "It was never 'no, she can't do that.' it was, 'how can we make this work for her?"

The school continues to make it work.

Addy Edwards: first girl football player at JHS

Coach Colby Hargroder did not cut Addy any slack; he knew she could handle the challenge.

"When we're running sprints,,, she's tough and everything," Hargroder said. "I do probably, I'm a little bit softer on her. When I notice it, I try to not do it. She doesn't want me to be. She never complains, we have boys complain all of the time, she never asked me to strap on her helmet. She does it all right."

A girl who just wants to play football, parents who hoped she would get it out of her system before she entered high school--Addy continues to show all girls that anything is possible as long as you do not let others stand in your way.