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FROM FAN TO PLAYER Lauren Haas, a rising eighth grader at The Emery/Weiner School, helped create the first girls flag football team at her school.
My love for football grew over the years, watching NFL football games with my dad and going to Houston Texans games with my mom and my sisters, Megan and Danielle. I always thought it would be fun to play football, but I knew it wasn't a sport women usually played. I didn't understand why it wasn't socially acceptable for girls to play flag football too. Several of my friends shared my opinion.
One day, my friends and I decided to join the boys’ football scrimmage during lunch at school. Although the boys let us play, they were not passing the ball to my friends or to me, and we became frustrated and ultimately left the game. I said to my friends, "We should start a team of our own."
My friends liked the idea, so we worked out the details with school staff. News that we were forming a girls football team traveled quickly. More and more of our friends wanted to play. Although it took several months of planning, our idea finally came to fruition, and the first all-girls flag football team at Emery was formed.
The teachers, team managers and players were all dedicated to making this all-girl flag football team successful. Unfortunately, there was still some opposition. Some said forming an all-girl flag football team was "silly,” “a waste of time,” or that we were “just doing it to get attention." However, once we showed people our determination and dedication, we eventually gained their support.
My parents always told me, "You can do anything in life if you set your mind to it.” I have learned a lot from this experience. More importantly, I've learned that through hard work, you can make change happen. Together, with the help of our teachers, coaches, parents and friends, we created this change. We went from being seventh graders with a desire to play flag football to forming our own team and playing the sport we love.
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