For Possibly the First Time in Florida's History, a Girl Could Play High School Quarterback for a Hot Second

Illustration for article titled For Possibly the First Time in Florida's History, a Girl Could Play High School Quarterback for a Hot Second

It's not really that anomalous (at least in Florida) for a high school football team to feature a Becky "Icebox" O'Shea of its very own — state records indicate that 523 girls have played high school football since 1973, with 36 playing last year as kickers, receivers, defensive backs and even, on one occasion, offensive linehuman. Not until Erin DiMeglio, however, had any girls played quarterback.


According to the Sun-Sentinel, the 17-year-old DiMeglio probably became the first female high school football player to take snaps from under center last Friday when she took the field for the final ten minutes of a game her South Plantation High School team was playing against Seminole Ridge. DiMeglio, South Plantation's third string quarterback, called all the plays and completed two passes during her brief time at the helm of her team, thus prompting all the coaches and old-timey high school football spectators to collectively scratch their heads and remark that watching DiMeglio sling the ovoid ball around the ol' gridiron was a first for them and now they could die knowing that girls can too throw footballs just as well (sometimes way better) than dudes.

DiMeglio has earned praise from her coaches for being athletic enough to keep up with the boys and carry out all of post-industrial chores the game of American football requires of its assembly-line players. This probably has something to do with the fact that she's already a great basketball player, and is just playing football to impress on college basketball scouts the fact that she's a little bit of a badass. Her coach, Doug Gatewood, marvels at DiMeglio's athletic prowess, explaining that, unlike some other female players that the football team has had suit up, DiMeglio can do her job just as well as her male counterparts:

I had a girl try out at wide receiver that couldn't make it through practice and I had a kicker that really couldn't make a field goal, so I didn't keep them. Erin can actually do what we ask of her...she completes the passes I ask, she knows the plays. ... Anything I ask her to do, she does.

The team admits to taking some special precautions when DiMeglio is under center, but her litany of broken bones and concussions that she's suffered playing basketball should prove that she's tough enough to take a hit. Still, some internet lurkers have had some not-awesome things to say about DiMeglio playing quarterback, because, well...just because, I guess. If she can do what her team needs her to do and do it well, there's not good reason why she shouldn't be able to pretend that everything on the field is moving in slow motion and the NFL Films highlight music is blaring in her helmet. It's very stirring.

Girl quarterback stands tall among the boys [Sun-Sentinel]



Good for her. I would cheer for whatever NFL team she ended up on.

Except for the Patriots.