They like football, tackling and hard hits, but they also like doing it with their makeup on and their hair back. They are two girls who play football at West Sabine High School.
Ana Vasquez and Makenzie Weelch play on the junior varsity team, but get moved up to varsity on weeks JV doesn't have a game.
Both girls give new meaning to the term, “girl power.”
“In the eighth grade we said we were going to play football. Nobody believed we would, and we did,” said Weelch.
These two, now sophomores, lived up to their word and they aren't just kickers. Vasquez plays wide receiver and defensive back, while Weelch plays offensive guard and defensive tackle.
“We thought it was going to kill us, and the first two weeks were kind of hard, but we stuck by each other. We helped each other a lot. It's been pretty fun now,” said Weelch.
The two approached Head Coach Tod Stark last spring asking to try out for the team, a first he said in his 29 years of coaching. Stark gave the girls a chance without hesitation.
“I was a little surprised, but this is the way I look at it. We have woman fighting for our country and dying for our country, so why can't they play football?” said Stark.
Just like that, the girls were on the field.
“They treat us like we're one of the guys now,” said Vasquez.
However, it did take a while for the boys to warm up to the girls at first.
“At the beginning of the season, they were kind of like, ‘I don't know if I should hit you because you're kind of my friend, and I don't want you to get mad.' Then the first day we actually did hitting drills and we kind of yelled at them for not hitting us. Ever since then they've been hitting us just like they hit the guys,” said Weelch.
“They didn't want to be treated different. They'd say, ‘You come hit me,' and they'd get mad. Earlier in the year they'd get mad at them and say, ‘That's all you got?'” said Stark.
The girls have definitely earned the respect of their teammates who now see them as one of the guys.
“Ana, she's tough mentally. She hits not with her helmet that hard, but she hits with her arms and she's got some good arm strength,” said Trenton Childress a teammate of the girls. “Makenzie, she can mow somebody over pretty good.”
These girls play so hard that opponents often times don't realize they're girls until the helmets are off after the game.
“Afterwards when we're slapping hands, they will turn around and sometimes they'll say things that shouldn't be said, but sometimes they're like, ‘Oh it's a girl. That's pretty cool,'” said Weelch.
“Or they are like, ‘Oh, I respect that you're a girl. That's cool,'” said Vasquez.
It's only the girls' first year of playing football, but they have already proven that anything boys can do, girls can do too.
You can see the girls in action in their last JV game this season when they play at Shelbyville on Thursday, at 5 p.m.
Their football careers won't end there. They plan on playing all throughout high school. Along the way, they hope to encourage other girls to play football too.
Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.