La Joya senior first girl to make varsity football team this year

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PHOENIX - Most people think of football as a man's sport but one Valley teen could change your opinion.

While some 12th graders just want to cruise through their senior year, Gabrielle Seamon is stepping out of her comfort zone and onto the football field for the first time.

La Joya's first game of the season is only one week away and this year the west valley high school will have a brand new face on the field.

Gabby says, “My first practice I had a lot of anxiety. I was like ‘I hope I don't get ran over my first day, I hope I don't get hurt’. I was like, but most of all I want to show the boys I can run the game too.”

The 17-year-old says she has wanted to try out for the team since freshman year but it was not until a few months ago that her mom finally gave her permission.

Head Football Coach Mike Gunderson says he was not sure if Gabby would follow through. He explains, “She showed up for spring football and she kept showing up and she showed up for workouts and she was working hard.”

Not only did she make varsity but she surprised her teammates, who have been very supportive.

Coach Gunderson says, “She's faster than some of our boys. They wouldn't admit it, but she's faster than actually quite a few.”

The high school senior plays both offense and defense. Gabby says even though keeping up with the boys physically is not a problem, she is still learning the game.

“I know all the rules and regulations but some of the plays, you know, for my position I had to learn the routes so that was a challenge.”

At 5’7 and 140 pounds Gabby does not get any special treatment and she says she likes it that way. “Girls can do anything guys can do. Anything. It's nothing big to me, it's just being on another sport with all boys.”

As for taking it easy her senior year, Gabby says she will think about it when she is a senior citizen.

“This is the only time I'm going to be a senior. I want to remember my senior year for the longest. I want to tell my kids about my senior year.”

In addition to football, Gabby is also going to participate in both track and basketball. La Joya's first game is next Friday against Marcos de Niza.