In Madera, you’ll find two football players who standout whether they like it or not.
“Oh, our coaches did not like the idea of pink,” says Brisa Meza, showing off her pink mouthpiece. “None of our players are supposed to wear pink, but I made them change their mind.”
The Coyotes have two girls who are competing on the gridiron every day.
Meza is a sophomore placekicker on varsity.
“It’s just the best feeling knowing that I made a small contribution to the team,” says Mesa.
Brie Schroeder meantime, is a position player on the freshman team who’s a safety and wide receiver.
“Going one on one,” says Schroeder. “I can tell that the guys open their eyes a little bit bigger when they realize I’m a girl.”
The opposing teams might look at them differently, but their teammates don’t.
“She just comes out here everyday and works as much as we do,” says Madera junior punter Cole Brincefield about Meza, who also holds on Meza’s kicks. “She’s a really good asset to this team”
“They have really accepted her and kind of taken her on as like a little sister,” says Coyotes varsity head coach Yosef Fares.
Brisa made program history this year becoming the first female to ever make a PAT and field goal for the Madera varsity team.
“The stands go wild when she comes out,” says Fares. “And the kids get very very excited when she makes her field goals.”
“Coach makes fun of me because I get so excited after I make it,” says Mesa smiling. “that I make that little hop.”
“Her excitement and her love for the game is what we’d like to see all of our kids have,” says Fares.
Earlier this week at practice, Brisa set a new personal record, making a 41-yard field goal.
“My goal was to inspire others, to do what they want and to make something of themselves,” says Brisa.
Brie says she grew up playing rugby in the backyard with her brother and his friends, and once her parents gave her the okay to play football in high school, she jumped at the chance.
“I’m going out there just to have fun,” says Schroeder. “It’s what I want to do and I feel like if I do it and I get better at it, I can eventually get on varsity.”
These two groundbreaking hotshots have learned to ignore the critics.
“Don’t ever be afraid to do what you want to do,” sums up Meza. “There’s people that are gonna be talking, but just let them talk.”