GREENLAND (KFSM) - A 13-year-old girl is on the football team at Greenland Middle School, and says she is out to prove girls can play the sport too.
Shelby Dill is the first female lineman to play for the Pirates. The 8th grader is in her second year of playing football, and plays on both the offensive and defensive lines.
"I feel like I'm making a big statement about this," she said. "It's a male dominant sport, but there are some girls out there that can go out there and whip a guy's butt."
Mark Alvarez is the head football coach at Greenland Middle School. He said he made it clear to Shelby that she would not receive special treatment just because she's a girl.
"I tell her daily her expectations are not different than my own sons," he said.
Parents, Jeremy and Debra, are committed to supporting their daughter no matter what. But, that doesn't mean they haven't had their concerns.
"That's my little girl," said Jeremy Dill. "I am really concerned about her getting hurt. She plays very aggressive, so it does make me nervous sometimes."
No one has regretted letting Shelby put on her pads and helmet and play with the boys on the gridiron.
"She's part of the team, and that's how we look at her," Alvarez said. "As long as she continues to workout and give the effort, then we are good with that."
"For all we know she could be the first NFL woman player, you just never know," Jeremy Dill said. "So, why hold her back if she wants to try something new?"
The Greenland Pirates face the West Fork Tigers on Thursday (Oct. 2). Game time is set for 7 p.m.