As the only girl on the St. Mary Marauders senior football team, Leah Mason has some important advice for all girls looking to try a sport played primarily by boys.
“Just because it’s male dominant doesn’t mean females can’t join the team,” Mason said. “I think all girls should consider it. Maybe not all girls are fit to join football, but if you want to give it a try, give it a try.”
Before she first tried the sport at the Marauders’ spring camp at the end of the last school year, Mason didn’t really know too much about football, or show too much interest in the sport in the past.
But the Marauders coaches convinced her to try it out and used her younger brother Kenneth, who plays on the junior Marauders team, as a reason.
“The coaches were like, ‘hey, if your brother’s playing, then you should play,’” Mason said, “so I was like, ‘okay, I should play.’ It wasn’t like ‘I love football, I want to join football.” I do love it now, but before I didn’t know anything about football. Then I jumped in.”
Mason literally jumped right into the middle of the action. She plays the nose tackle position, lining up in the middle of the defensive line and across from the opposing centre. It’s a very important spot on the defence, especially against the run.
Mason is not new at all to contact sports. She’s also an accomplished wrestler, and represented the province at the Canada Summer Games back in August in Winnipeg.
“I like the contact of it,” Mason said of joining the pair of sports. “I’m not an aggressive person, but sports kind of allows me to be aggressive in it. It’s a nice way to exercise and have fun at the same time.”
As she’s in Grade 12 and is in her third year as a student at St. Mary’s, Mason was already familiar with a lot of players on the team.
“I’ve had classes with the guys and I’m fitting in very well. It’s awesome,” Mason said.
The Marauders face Walter Murray in Saskatoon on Thursday for their second game of the season. The Marauders lost to Aden Bowman 30-19 in their season opener last week.
On Twitter: @jeff_dandrea
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