That the Wauzeka-Steuben (Wis.) High football team had to actively recruit more players to keep their football season alive is not too surprising. The gender of the players that they got to turn up is.
As reported by the La Crosse, Wisconsin TV network WKBT, Wauzeka-Steuben was facing a season with just 12 players -- one above the absolute bare minimum -- until two of the school's teenage girls decided to give the sport a try. Megan Klema and Selena Giddings agreed to sign up to help save the season, largely because they knew that football was an important part of the community fabric of the Wauzeka-Steuben area.
"We had some kids who were ineligible due to grades. We had some kids who were ineligible due to injury. With that being said, we only had about 12 healthy bodies going into our scrimmage," Wauzeka-Steuben District Administrator Mike Garrow told WKBT. "It's a small community and it's a close knit community and people are really willing to step up and help one another."
The transition to the most full contact of all sports hasn't been entirely smooth for Klema or Giddings. Klema said that the first game the duo played in was "oh my gosh, really scary," while Giddings, a junior who is playing significant time at cornerback, said that the team's plays left her confused as she adapted to the speed and flow of the game.
Yet, in the larger scheme of things, that isn't important. What the two girls were doing is making sure that something everyone takes for granted would continue, even if they had to sacrifice some of the other things they might be doing -- celebrating as one of the schools 27 cheerleaders, for instance -- if they weren't on the field.
"A lot of people around the town say thank you to me," Selena said.
As well they should.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football