ROANOKE, Va.. (WDBJ7) - One hometown teenager is making high school history on the football field at Hidden Valley High School.
“You're gonna see two by one and two by two and trips,” Head Coach Scott Weaver tells his junior varsity players on the practice field.
A day ahead of a big matchup, he is pushing his players – including one of them already making school history.
"Breezie is the first at Hidden Valley High School,” Weaver said. “I've been here for 14 or 16 years and it's the first and it's really cool."
He’s talking about number 68 who is always determined and, coach says, works hard at every practice. But that’s not why we’re here.
"If you didn't see the ponytail you wouldn't know,” he said. “She's a fierce competitor and a good football player.
Brianna or "Breezie" Derosha, is Hidden Valley's first female football player.
She says she knew early on Volleyball wasn't for her.
"I didn't like how short the shorts were so I was like, I'll just do football,” she said, dressed in her pads. “And I like it.”
She started football as a kid, following big brother's footsteps.
Those footsteps that have led her to the offensive line where she often surprises her opposing team.
"They get on the line and they're just like, ‘is that a girl?’ And I hit ‘em and lay ‘em out and they're like, ‘yeah it is!’"
At first mom Laurie Ann Derosha was a little nervous about her playing.
"Every time she’s on the field I get nervous,” Derosha said, referencing her son’s concussion years earlier. “But I've also seen her knock boys on their butts!"
She says her family is excited by Breezie’s determination to play.
“You tell her she can’t do something she works really hard to show you that she can,” Derosha said. “When it comes to school or sports or whatever she puts a lot of pressure on herself to make sure she does well.”
They’re also proud of how hard Breezie works for a chance to play.
“It’s the best!” mom says. “Like it’s girl power, it’s so cool. I love it.”
Coach Weaver says Breezie is a part of the team, just like everyone else.
“Her work ethic, she shows up every single day and she works as hard as she can work,” he said. “She goes home and she comes and does it again. Which is a rare trait these days.”
Off the field, Breezie’s mom said she is an “awesome kid” who is attached to her family, friends and faith. In her off time she likes to hang out with friends and helps her family build a house on their property. She plays softball in the off season and has even been approached by the school’s wrestling coach.
Breezie has had a few naysayers. But with her sights set on the line, on varsity and on a college scholarship, she's a little too busy to be bothered. And, she says, the support has always outweighed the negativity.
"I'm happy to be here. And I love it,” she said. “And I wanna be here every day."