Westland John Glenn's Romero breaks gender role in the trenches

Posted at 5:52 PM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-11 17:58:29-04

The trenches. Where football games are often won and lost, is by far the toughest place on football field.

"Things get nasty down there, it gets tough, and it's not easy position to play, Heck there's guys on our team that don't want to play offensive and defensive line," a Rockets head coach Steve Waller said.

But that's exactly where you'll find junior Vanessa Romero. And this isn't a new place for her, she's been playing since she was eight. And she has no plans on giving it up anytime soon.

"Some people second guess me and ask questions like 'why are you playing football? Aren't you scared to get hurt?' And I'm like no if I get hurt, it's apart of football," junior Vanessa Romero said.

It is rare to see a girl play the position that Vanessa does, but she and her teammates embrace it. Knocking down bigger guys is part of the thrill for Vanessa, but so is setting an example for younger girls, that anything is possible.

"I know there's like little girls that play in the little team I played for and they always come up and say 'I want to be just like you, Vanessa!' Just stuff like that, I have a high standard for myself because most girls that play football are kickers and most of the time they don't get hit, but every play I'm getting hit repeatedly over and over again," Vanessa said.

"Now that she's been around for a couple of years, I'm not surprised by anything that that girl does, she's absolutely amazing, one of the toughest kids out here and I wouldn't expect anything different," Waller added.

 For those thinking it might be a little weird or odd that a girl is playing on a boys football team, especially in a contact position, you might be alone in that thinking, especially here. The Rockets, they look at Vanessa and another one of the players on the team, and the only reason it's a story is because we're out here, telling it.

"She even looked at me and said 'Why are they doing this?', and I said Vanessa, you don't realize this and even I don't but you're different to other people that are outside of our family, as you would, for us in here it's just another day," Waller said.

"I just love competing and knowing that I'm a girl going against way bigger boys than I should be and beating some of them up is the fun part," Vanessa said.