When McBride moved with her family to Chaska in ninth grade, one of the first things she did was join the football team. Now in her fourth year with the Hawks and being the only girl on the team, the 5-foot-5, 160-pound offensive tackle has one primary goal for this season: To get the chance to start a game.

Q: How long have you played football?

A: I started in fourth grade, took two years off in middle school when we moved to a place that didn’t have football, then when we moved to Minnesota, I started playing again.

 

Q: Was it tough to be a girl going out for football at a new school?

A: The first year was a challenge. It took a little bit for everyone to get used to it. The coaches were surprised.

 

Q: What do the girls in your school think?

A: A lot of them seem to think it’s cool. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from them.

 

Q: What is one of the hurdles you’ve had to overcome?

A: When we get our football stuff for camp, it’s in the boys’ locker room. Coaches never had to deal with a girl before. I have to get them to unlock the girls’ locker room. Sometimes I have to ask them to do it, but they’re better about it now.

 

Q: Do you play much?

A: Last year on the varsity, I got in about six, seven games. Mostly as a fourth-quarter player. I started for the ‘B’ squad in ninth and 10th grades and got to play quite a bit.

 

Q: What is your best football memory?

A: It’s funny, because I got trucked. I was in 10th grade and in practice, our quarterback, Justin Arnold, was running with the ball. He thought I was going to wimp out instead of tackling him, but I didn’t. I went at him and he totally knocked me on my back. I lost my air. I’m not sure if I tackled him, but I know I slowed him down.

 

Q: Why football?

A: When I was little, I was told I was too rough for soccer. I knocked some girls over, gave some bloody noses.

 

Q: How do opponents react to playing a girl?

A: They don’t really notice at first. When they do, sometimes they put one of their strongest players on me and sometimes they try to take it easy.

 

Q: Do you consider that an insult?

A: Yes. I love hitting. That’s tons of fun. Sometimes they go easy in practice and I call them out on it. No need to go light.

Jim Paulsen