At Maryland’s Northwestern High, freshman Imani Gregory is making a name for herself on the school’s junior varsity football team. Gazette.net reports that Gregory, who is only in her second year of playing organized ball, plays right guard and nose tackle has started both games of the new season.
Coach Steve Rapp tells the Gazette “She’s physical. She understands the game of football. She, in a lot of ways, is mentally more advanced than a lot of the boys who are on the team.”
Teammates seem to be excited about Gregory’s presence on the squad. Her backup Marvin Sanchez says “She has the aggressiveness and the spirit to defeat whoever’s in front of her. It’s good playing with her and having her on the team because it gives help to the girls that don’t play sports…She’s got strength, aggressiveness and spirit.”
Sophomore Franct Pierre says “She’s supportive, That’s what I like about her. She doesn’t bring anyone down. If we give up a touchdown, she’s not the one blaming or pointing fingers. She’s telling everyone to keep their heads up.”
It’s encouraging to hear that Gregory and her team haven’t been subject to any taunting or harassment because of her gender. “I don’t even think they know I’m a girl,” she says. “When they notice I’m a girl, I laugh. They try to hurt me, but they can’t. Nobody really says anything to me, either.” Gregory’s mother Theodora Robinson played for the Lady Elite flag football team in PG County, which inspired her daughter to hit the field.
Growing up a fan of the Washington Redskins, Gregory became interested in playing football by watching her mother, Theodora Richardson, compete for the Prince George’s County-based Lady Elite flag football team.
Props to Imani and best of luck to her this season!
Did any of you Clutchettes play ‘non-traditional’ sports growing up? How about now?