Most statewide and national football teams have a roster full of boys, but for the Junior Hawks football team in Prospect, one of their star running backs is a girl.
Eight-year-old Charlie Jeanette told Eyewitness Sports Reporter, Caroline Powers, that it was an easy decision to make when her father asked if she wanted to be on the football team or the cheerleading squad.
“Football's my sport,” quipped Charlie. “I like tackling and running, and I don't like getting lifted up and thrown.”
The love of football runs in the Jeanette family, from growing up throwing the ball with her dad, to watching her older brother play, Charlie said she knew right away that she wanted to get in the game.
“I said, if you sign up,” said Charlie’s father, Michael. “You have to stick it out and she came to the plate and said I'm sticking it out.”
Charlie said she didn’t let hard work stand in her way, either.
“I went to all the cross fits and I got really good at it so I wanted to play,” remarked Charlie.
Charlie said that being the only girl on the team doesn’t stop her either.
“What's funny is her name is Charlie,” said Michael. “So, they don't expect it to be a girl, but then you see the little ponytail hanging out and they say, 'Oh, a girl and she's doing a good job'.”
Michael said football takes up most of their family’s time, as his 14-year-old son is also playing, but he said seeing both of his children work hard, and play a sport they love is a ‘touchdown’ in his book.
“It's great,” said Michael. “It's a lot of work running back and forth to each field but it brings a lot to you. It's something you cherish forever.”
As for Charlie, she has her eyes on the prize.
“When they say ready, set, go I take the ball and I run and I try and score a touchdown,” she said. “My goal is to get a lot of touchdowns.”
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