Go out the field, warm up, split into groups, practice blocking, practice plays, conditioning. The typical narrative of a football practice–only this one’s told by a girl.
Kayla Moss has been around football ever since she can remember. “I’ve watched football my whole life,” she said. “I wanted to try it out and see if I liked it, if I didn’t, then I was going to quit, but I love it, so much.”
Her dad encouraged her to play at first, and she took it from there. According to her, getting onto the team at Oakland Middle School wasn’t hard. The real challenge at that level was getting used to practicing with boys that were bigger than her. “They pushed me to the point where I needed to be pushed, and I was outside my comfort zone, which was great.”
Battle doesn’t hold tryouts for football, so Moss was placed on the freshman team at first, before the team was dissolved due to lack of participation. Moss plays for the JV team now. She’s said the transition was big, mostly because of all the extra conditioning, but it wasn’t too hard.
One of the biggest questions someone might have is, “How is a girl treated on an all-male football team?” Moss’s answer was simple. “They treat me equally…it’s like a family.” She said sometimes she can feel awkward, but it’s mostly because she doesn’t know everyone yet, and that’s not related to her gender. She explained that she’s proud of the fact that she’s not treated differently, too. No special accommodations have been made. She’s expected to perform as well as all the guys, and she does.
The guys said they don’t think having a girl on the team changes the dynamic, either. “It’s still the same football team,” said Tavian Miller, wide receiver.
Chase Anderson, tight end and defensive lineman, said, “We play the same, either way.”
Moss plays Center. She’s proud of how strong she’s gotten, and the fact that she was a starter on the freshman team. Moss is the first girl to get playing time on the field from the Battle team. “She’s good at snapping, and she puts in hard work,” said Anderson. After high school, her big goal is to be in the NFL.