Olivia Wood, a 7th grader at Saint Joseph Academy can remember as early as the 4th grade longing to play football. She remembers the boys throwing the football around during recess at the Episcopal Day School and she was grateful when they allowed her to join them.
Playing football as a girl comes with its challanges. Olivia has had to face some criticism and whispers but says that she is strong and self-confident and can handle the criticism that comes her way. Olivia said that when someone says something to her that her response is, "It's 2020, get used to it!" For the most part though, the boys at Saint Joseph Academy have been very supportive of her.
When asked what she had to do to prepare for the fall football season, Olivia reports that she had to work on her running speed and endurance as well as the ability to lift weights. During their football training, the coach looked at the skills her and her teammates possessed, and she was chosen to play right tackle on the offense.
Olivia realizes that her playing time for football is short lived because the build of her body will not allow her to keep up with the boys her age as they grow but she hopes to play as long as she is able to. When her time is up, she will still have the love for the game and will be able to continue watching the sport on tv with her dad as she does now.
When asked what her message to other young girls who have the same dream is, she relied, "It doesn't matter what others think of you, just be you and play."
Olivia is grateful to her mom and dad and extended family and friends for all their support.