Female participation in high school football on the rise

Female participation in high school football on the rise

Female participation in high school football on the rise

More than 2,000 girls playing on the gridiron, some with impressive results.

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High school football remains a male-dominated sport. 

And while statistics from the National Federation of State High School Associations, www.nfhs.org, show overall participation in tackle football has declined over the past several years, female participation is actually on the rise.

Over the past three years, the number of girls playing high school football has gone from 1,715 in 2013-14 to 2,017 in 2016-17. And the number of schools with girls playing had jumped from 448 to 665.

On the gridiron over the past few years, female accomplishments have started to pile up. A few include:

• This season, K-Lani Nava became the first female to score points in a Texas UIL state championship game when she kicked nine extra points for her Strawn football team.

• Emma Baker of Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.) was named All-State by MaxPreps in 2016 as a kicker and All-State this past season by Cal-Hi Sports. It's believed she's the first female to garner All-State honors.

• Holly Neher of Hollywood Hills (Hollywood, Fla.) this season became the first female in Florida high school football history to throw a touchdown pass.

• Becca Longo of Basha (Chandler, Ariz.) earned a scholarship to Adams State, the first female to earn a Division II or higher scholarship.

• Antoinette "Toni" Harris earned a scholarship last month to play at Bethany College, a NAIA school in Kansas. The East Los Angeles College safety is believed to be the first non-kicker to earn a football scholarship.