Toni Harris, who goes to East L.A. junior college, made history this week when she became the first female football player at a skill position to sign a letter of intent.
Harris, a safety, accepted the offer from Central Methodist University in Missouri.
Harris, who is 5-foot-7 and 164 pounds, had three tackles and one tackle for loss in 2018.
“A lot of coaches didn’t believe in me,” Harris said.
“A coach told me, ‘Nobody’s ever going to play you to be at the next level.’ In the end, you’ve got to push yourself. I’m going to focus on my goals.
“The NFL is the dream,” Harris told ESPNW earlier this month. “I’m going to be working toward that until the death of me. Whether I go drafted or undrafted, I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep my faith and God is going to take me there.”
Clothes don’t make the team
Indiana University of Pennsylvania was ready to play against Edinboro on Wednesday. They had the game plan, they had worked on their shooting. They felt confident they would win, after all, they ranked second in Division II. But then they realized one key ingredient was missing.
When the team went to put on their uniforms for the game, they discovered the team managers forgot to bring the uniforms. And the uniforms were 100 miles away, without enough time to go get them before tipoff.
What to do?
In a show of good sportsmanship, Edinboro let IUP wear Edinboro’s road uniforms.
And then IUP beat them, 87-59.
Brendan Johnston, a high school wrestler in Colorado, was wrestling in the consolation bracket of the 106-pound division in the state tournament. If he won his third-round match, he had a chance to finish in the top three. His opponent: Angel Rios. A girl.
Johnston refused to wrestle her and accepted a forfeit loss.
“I’m not really comfortable with a couple of things with wrestling a girl,” Johnston told the Denver Post. “The physical contact, there’s a lot of it in wrestling.
“And I guess the physical aggression, too. I don’t want to treat a young lady like that on the mat. Or off the mat. And not to disrespect the heart or the effort that she’s put in. That’s not what I want to do, either.”
Johnston went 37-6 during the season. Four of those losses were forfeit losses to Rios.
“Wrestling is something we do, it’s not who we are,” Johnston told the Post. “And there are more important things to me than my wrestling.
“And I’m willing to have those priorities.”
He also forfeited a match earlier in the tournament to Jaslynn Gallegos, another girl.
“I think it’s possible to forfeit while still respecting them as athletes and competitors. I really don’t want to disrespect the hard work these ladies have put in,” Johnston said. “They’ve done a lot of that too. Some people think by forfeiting I’m disrespecting them. That’s not my intention at all.”
Rios ended up finishing fourth in the tournament, Gallegos finished fifth.
“You’ve got to respect his personal decision to do what he did, and standing on his principles,” said Colorado High School Athletic Assn. assistant commissioner Ernie Derrera. “And I think there’s a bigger lesson there than wrestling.”