Girl Among Boys

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By: Jason Kahn
September 27, 2013

Valdosta, GA - It's another day at football practice for the Valdosta Middle School sixth grade team. A spirited 11-year-old with patterned socks and black and pink shorts takes the field. Katie Walker is the only girl playing on this gridiron.

"I was scared at first, But, then, after three to four weeks later, I wasn't scared," she said.

Walker first gave football a shot two years ago, taking after her brother, Hunter, at a local Boys and Girls Club. She is believed to be the first-ever female football player Valdosta Middle School.

"I was very hesitant," said Chris Walker, Katie's father. "She is my little girl. I don't want her to get hurt."

Chris is cautious, but wants Katie to have fun.

"I was standing next to my coach and I was saying 'Coach, coach, put me in. I want to tackle number 99.' And I did," she said.

The fifth-grader plays a grade above because of her age.

"She doesn't want any special treatment and have not been asked for special treatment and wasn't gonna give any special treatment," said Dirk Harrell, the 6th grade Head Coach at VMS. "As long as she is treated like everybody else, that's how it's going to be and she has met that perfectly."

"It's just to show that girls can do whatever boys can do," she said.

Katie's trying to prove that now and one day on Varsity as a Valdosta Wildcat.

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