Hey, that football player is a girl!

Cindy Prout Pierce Special to the Eagle
Jessica Pierce, left, with her friend Sierra Prange. Pierce plays in an Optimist Pee Wee football game then changes clothes to cheer with Sierra for the Junior football game.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Cindy Prout Pierce Special to the Eagle Jessica Pierce, left, with her friend Sierra Prange. Pierce plays in an Optimist Pee Wee football game then changes clothes to cheer with Sierra for the Junior football game.

Roger LaLonde Staff
Jessica Pierce, center, holds her defensive position as she looks for the ball carrier in the Marco Optimist Pee Wee victory on Saturday.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Jessica Pierce, center, holds her defensive position as she looks for the ball carrier in the Marco Optimist Pee Wee victory on Saturday.

A lanky 10-year-old lines up at her defensive tackle position and slams into her opponent.

That’s right, her opponent. Jessica Pierce, 10, plays for the Marco Island Optimist Pee Wee football team.

While she’s not the first, it is unusual. She is the only girl in the Optimist football program.

On Saturday she and her teammates celebrated their first win of the season.

“I wanted to play football because the boys said I couldn’t,” she said of how she joined the team. She wanted to play last year, but broke her arm before the season.

“I like to hit the quarterback,” she said.

She is not fond of playing offense.

“I’d rather be the hitter, than get hit,” she said.

Eddie Webb, Pee Wee head coach, said Jessica is learning.

“She is like any first year player, she knocks kids around, then they knock her around,” he said.

After the game, and the closing comments by the coaches, the team goes to the concession stand for refreshments. The boys then amble off to watch the next game.

Jessica changes into her Eagles cheerleading outfit to urge on the older boys in the next game.

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