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Tackling Stereotypes


Sophomore, Kylee Dayton, kicks off the JV football season being the only girl on the team.

The Bearcat’s newest defensive lineman, number two, is not the typical football player you’d expect. She can be seen fighting through the trenches with the intent of blowing up the play. “They” are Kylee Dayton, a linewoman.

Kylee Dayton

Trailblazer playing on a generally male team

Sophomore, Dayton is the first female football player of the decade in PRHS. According to a statista survey of  2,200 respondents 18 years old and older in June of 2021, 47 percent of women are interested in football; however, next to none actually play the sport (only 6.4% of women). 

 Strong and ambitious are two words that can be used to describe Dayton.

Her strong will and lack of care for what others think allowed her to pursue her interest in the sport. 

“All of the guys were kind of weird about it at first but honestly I just didn’t really care and decided to play instead because I don’t care what other people think about me,” said Dayton.

Sophomore female football player, Kylee Dayton

Dayton’s love for football could be attributed back to the time when she was four, as sports have always been a major part of her life. Her father and grandfather are both avid football fans, peaking her interest in the sport.

“I played on my dad’s little league team at first, then softball…and then I later started playing football,” Dayton said. She started playing football because as she says, “…I love the sport, and it’s really not for attention or because girls are the ones that can’t do it. I have a love for the sport and just want to try new things.”

So far in her football career, Dayton is most proud of the relationships she has developed with her teammates and her performance on the field. This is currently her second year playing football and Dayton tries her best to improve to the level of her fellow teammates by, “just taking the criticism that the coach gives me, and trying to use that to my advantage,” (Dayton)

“Kylee is a highly dedicated individual when it comes to attendance and effort. The coaching staff and I enjoy her coach-ability and positive attitude. She is a JV bearcat player, same as her male counter-parts,” Scott Gardener, Coach

Sophomore James Cogan, a fellow teammate and friend of Dayton has played with her ever since she entered the football scene.

“I played football with Kylee in 8th grade and I never really thought much about it to be honest I felt like she’s another teammate like everyone else. I treat her like every other football player on the team and I feel like the coaches do as well,”

James Cogan

For the future Dayton hopes to get on the varsity team and, “know the game well enough to then coach it someday,” (Dayton)

Since the first female football player in 1926, America has become more accepting of having diverse teammates. In 2020 the NFL announced that they plan to enhance their diversity, giving rise to the possibility of women being major parts of the sports.

Dayton can be considered a trailblazer in her efforts to join the JV football team. To those who want to pursue something but feel as though they can’t for various reasons Dayton advises that, “you have to have a strong mentality and just basically just don’t care what other people think, it does not matter, it’s not their life.”

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