(HOUSTON) — A seventh-grade girl and her parents are fighting for her to be able to play on her school’s football team in Texas.
Hailey Fuentes speaks softly, but that timidity doesn’t translate to the field.
“I like to hit the other teams so we can win,” Hailey told ABC News affiliate KTRK. She played on a pee wee team last year and wanted to continue playing football this year when she was told she couldn’t by her school.
Hailey’s mother, Melissa Lara, told KTRK that she was shocked when the athletic director told her that Hailey would not be allowed on the seventh-grade football team at Palacios Junior High School.
Palacios, Tex., is about 100 miles southwest of Houston.
“He just flat out told me that she wasn’t going to play because he doesn’t think she can handle it,” Lara told KTRK.
“I’m a girl and he doesn’t want to allow me on his team,” Hailey said.
She wants to follow in the footsteps of her brother and sister, who both play high school football.
Superintendent Vicki Adams told KTRK that there’s no rule that bans Hailey from the team, but since volleyball is offered as an “alternative sport,” the district does not have to allow her on the team.
But Hailey and her family are not giving up without a fight. They are scheduled to meet with the superintendent Friday and said they would take on the school board if necessary.
“She’s not going to be taken down easily,” Hailey’s father said.
Meanwhile, about 800 miles away in Odenville, Ala., 14-year-old freshman Kylee Harrell is the first girl in her school’s history to play for the football team. She will be the team’s placekicker this season, according to ABC News’ Birmingham affiliate WBMA-TV.
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