Bianca Garza, 5-foot-5 and 135 pounds, is a defensive linesman on the varsity football team at San Jose’s Andrew Hill High School. Last year, she was a star tackler on the frosh-soph team; this year, she’s on the second unit and the kickoff return team. Garza started playing football as an alternative to joining a street gang.
“When I go up against bigger players, I don’t fear anyone,” said Garza, who can bench press 200 pounds. “You can’t be scared. If I get hit hard, I’ve got to get back up and hit them back. You have to be ready for whatever when it comes to football. “
There were 1,225 girls playing tackle football in the U.S. last year, according to a survey by the National Federation of High School Athletics.
Update: I just learned that my petite niece is playing rugby at college.