HOMETOWN HERO As we all know, football season just kicked off, and for many freshman players the transition from playing at the junior high level to the high school can be daunting.
But one Midland Freshman High School player is adjusting quickly, and here's the kicker -- she's a girl.
CBS 7 News sat in on 15-year-old Merecedez Chandler’s practice Monday afternoon and can honestly say she’s giving those boys a run for their money.
For Mercedez, playing high school football is just one step closer to making her dream become a reality one day.
"One of my dream goals is to get into the NFL and play for the Cowboys," Mercedez said.
Sure, some might think that's a far-fetched dream, especially for a girl, but the 15-year-old has the full support of both her parents and coaches.
"She's you know a pretty good sized girl, she might be a little bigger than a few of my guys, but that was one thing I commended her on, she wasn't scared," Mercedez’s Coach T.J. Turner said.
Standing at 5’9”, Mercedez has no problem hanging with the boys. In fact, she's treated and coached as if she was just one of the guys, and says she wouldn't have it any other way.
"She's one of the first ones that wants to be in [the game], she doesn't lack any kind of integrity, just you know being more knowledgeable about the game, but as far as her hustle, her effort, it's there," Turner said.
Mercedez’s parents admit at first they were hesitant to let their daughter play such a high-intensity sport like football but have always taught their children that with hard work anything is possible.
Playing defensive nose guard, one of the toughest positions physically, Mercedez is showing everyone that you can do anything you put your mind to.
"Girls can play too, I can tell you that now, and that if any girl ever wanted to play, go for it," Mercedez said.
"Everybody was like aren't you afraid she’s going to get hurt, I was like yeah, I'm afraid, but I have to back her up,” Mercedez’s mother, Melissa Chandler said. “If that's what she wants to do, I'll let her do it. If she tries it and doesn't succeed, then I know she at least tried."
Mercedez’s first home game is this coming Thursday, and she and her parents invite the community to come out and support her.
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