Sarah Fuller, the first girl to play college football, is an absolute boss
Sarah Fuller became the first girl to play in a Power 5 conference football game as she kicked off for Vanderbilt last week and I’m all kinds of proud.
I played football with the boys at recess and dreamed of this day.
A true tomboy at heart, doing hair on the swings was never my style. Throwing the ball up the elementary school soccer field for the winning touchdown, though? That was my jam.
I rocked a No Fear hat and Umbro shorts every day my mom let me and (sorry, mom :/) changed out of the girly clothes in the school bathroom when she didn’t.
We watched football religiously on Sundays – Dan Marino, Troy Aikman, and all that 90’s football goodness – and it never occurred to me one day in the not too near future I would be watching one of my sisters suit up and do the same.
Vanderbilt has struggled with kicking this season. Some of the team’s specialists were not available to play due to COVID protocols this week and the coaching staff made an incredibly smart decision – they turned to a badass woman’s soccer player.
Sarah Fuller is a 6’2” boss of a goalie for Vanderbilt which one the SEC Tournament title last Sunday, no big deal. In Vanderbilt’s head coach’s words:
“For us, talking to Sarah, she’s a champ, and no pun intended. Just coming off an SEC championship in soccer and then coming out and just looking at what we do and how we do it, and she’s a complete competitor. She’s an option for us, so right now, that’s where we sit.”
I played collegiate soccer at Nebraska and dreamed of this day.
Sitting there, watching her confidently take a 30-yard kick like she was born to do this is gave me all kinds of goosebumps.
For my girls. For their future. For all the “oh, girls can’t do that,” to be burned to the ground with a passion as soon as possible.
Sarah Fuller, I am so proud of you. So thankful for your grit, for your fearlessness.
As I watched you smiling on the sideline surrounded by bulked up male counterparts 3x your size, I can’t help but be reminded of my 8-year-old self, cutting left with the football on my boy classmates putting them allll to shame.
Rock on, sister. Thank you for kicking the living daylights out of that football and shattering the crap out of that ceiling for all of us.
Whether or not you ever step onto the college football field again, we are all cheering you on.