Disclaimer: This is a satirical piece.
By Briana Oldham
Cleveland State is the first university to adopt a trial program allowing for its first female football player.
Taylor Lee wasn’t sure what the results would be when she, along with a slew of other young women from all walks of life, erupted onto the field for tryouts.
From the time she stepped onto the field and picked up a football, the coaching staff noticed she was different.
“Lee is a hard worker, but it is her talent that we simply just could not overlook,” head coach Mike Dunbar said. “In addition to the natural skills she possesses, we are the only program in the league with a girl on the team, and it really gets into our opponents’ heads.”
The rest of the team agrees with their coach. Senior and team captain Jaylen Whitfield, along with Lee, are the most vocal about the future of the program. Because of this, they get more popular every year.
As the first female collegiate quarterback, this position is not one Lee takes lightly.
If you ask how she feels being a top 20 ranked quarterback by the NCAA, she’ll smirk and tell you she will be top 10 by the end of next season. Lee certainly has high expectations for herself. Though this is a tremendous accomplishment, considering Lee is the only female on the list, she is on a quest to be the best.
Coming from the small town of Harbor Springs, Michigan, she was the youngest of four children. Much like the football team, she was the only girl in her family.
After losing her mother at a young age to an accident at a local factory, one of her escapes was to toss around the football with her brothers and her father. Lee recounts knowing from an early age that she wanted to play football.
“My father and brothers always encouraged me to do whatever it is I wanted, including playing football. Realistically, we knew it wouldn’t happen, but when the trial program at CSU started, I had to give it a shot,” Lee said. “I don’t think I realized how much of a possibility playing was until I got the call back from the coaches.”
The sophomore is excited for next season and wants to move up in the ranks.
This past season, Lee tied for 19th with a quarterback passer rating of 152.1. The Vikings finished the season with a 7-6 record which is an improvement from the four games won last season.
Despite the team almost breaking even in the win and loss columns, Lee only threw one interception and completed 155 passes on 256 attempts. Of the passes, 17 of them were touchdowns.
The entire Viking fan base is elated at the changes they’ve seen and hope to see more down the line.
Freshman Carmen Hicks has developed a close relationship with Lee and hopes to tryout this season. Hicks has been a fan of the game since she played on an intramural team in high school because she couldn’t play for her school.
Lee sees the impact that her playing may have on young girls as a motivator and reward for the sometimes complicated and, at times, brutal sport.