Freshman girl defies odds and plays football


Kyla Cade

Jillian Petty stands, excited for her football career to continue.

Kyla Cade, Staff Writer

As fall sports commence, it’s the time of year where everyone gets huddled into the stands on a Friday evening to watch some high school football. BSM has three different football teams: Freshman, JV and Varsity. Each team may look like a normal group of boys, but once the helmets are off, one specific player draws the attention of the opposing team. Freshman Jillian Petty is the only girl in the BSM Football Program. Joining last year’s freshman team as an 8th grader, Petty has been proving people wrong ever since. 

She decided to become involved in football after watching her older brother, Junior Will Petty, play for so many years. “I thought it would be fun cause I always saw my brother doing it,” Jillian Petty said. 

Petty can be seen playing a lineman position or a middle linebacker, but for the majority of the game she is put on the line. Standing at 5’5″, she considers herself to be one of the smallest people on the field during a game or practice. “If not one of the smallest, I am the smallest, like I’m not football sized,” Jillian Petty said. 

If not one of the smallest, I am the smallest, like I’m not football sized”

— Jillian Petty

According to Petty, the mentality of the lineman position differs from other positions “I play a really big position, so strength wise I’d have to be stronger or smarter. I don’t have to be stronger, I just have to be smarter than most of the people on the field,” Freshman Jillian Petty said. 

Jillian’s older brother, Will Petty, thinks that it’s cool that she plays. “It’s different,” Will Petty said. He’s aware that she wanted to play because of him and that she looks up to Will. “She’s one of the better people on the team from what I’ve seen this year, so I guess that makes her pretty decent. She’s a leader on the squad,” Junior Will Petty said. 

Coach Breion Creer has been working with Jillian since last year and says that he doesn’t treat her differently from the other players. ” You have to get your body capable of competing at the highest level, so I treat everybody the same regardless of if you’re a girl or a boy,” Creer said. 

Freshman Will Howell, a teammate of Jillian’s, says that he doesn’t feel a difference that there’s a girl on the team and that she stands out in a good way. “She’s really good and stuff, like better than the rest of the line,” Howell said. 

For being the only girl on the field, she actually doesn’t mind it. “Everyone would think it’s really awkward cause I’m the only girl on the team but it’s not. Everyone’s really chill,”  Jillian Petty said. 

Petty has enjoyed every moment so far on the team and says she’s never had an issue with fitting in with the boys. “It’s like having a million guy best friends, which is awesome,” Jillian Petty said. 

Coach Creer likes that her teammates don’t have an issue with her either. “They act like they’re all best friends. I like that, it’s true teamwork,” Creer said.