Are you ready for some football? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is yes! Across the nation, football season is in full swing. From young kids to pro athletes, many Americans aren’t just watching the game—they’re also playing it. However, it’s not just young boys and men who are taking to the field. Young girls and women are also part of the sport, and one of them just made history.
Bella Rasmussen, 18, is a senior football player at Laguna Beach High School in California. Although women do play football throughout the country, Rasmussen is unique not necessarily because she’s the only female on the team, but because she’s also a running back. When girls and women play the male-dominated sport, running back is usually a position that’s thought of as one only for guys.
In Case You Missed It, ‘I’m Going to Do It Again’
Rasmussen’s unique position helped her make history last week. In a game with Santa Ana Godinez, the running back scored not one but two touchdowns that helped her team win 48-0 over their opponent. With her touchdowns, Rasmussen became the first female player in California history to score two touchdowns in a varsity game.
With her first touchdown, the running back became the eighth female player in state history to score a touchdown in a varsity football game. Apparently, that wasn’t enough for Rasmussen, and she went on to score another. Her touchdowns included runs of one and four yards in the second quarter of the game.
However, Rasmussen was out on the field just to have fun. She didn’t set out to enter the history books. As the running back shared, “I had no idea that was such a big deal. I felt that I had just played a game, a great game with some of my favorite people.”
‘Be The Hammer, Not The Nail’
Rasmussen’s love for football began at an early age. At just 3 years old, the running back was already playing the sport with her older brother and cousin. However, she has been on the receiving end of skeptics over the years.
“I get it all the time,” Rasmussen remarked. “Those boys are going to hurt you. They’re not going to want you, this is a male sport.” Good thing Rasmussen didn’t listen to the doubters. As the only female on the team, she’s making history and showing the world that girls can play just as tough as boys. In fact, she’s played the demanding positions of running back and defensive end all four of her years at Laguna Beach.
As Rasmussen continues to reflect on her football team and making history, she has a few inspiring words for us all: “Be the hammer, not the nail.”