Something new has happened at Avonworth this 2018-19 school year and it is not the schedules. For the first time in its history, the Avonworth football team has gained a female team member. Adrianna Giusto, number 60, a sophomore here in the high school has joined the boys to bring the Avonworth football team to victory this season.
We asked coach Johncour if he had ever had a female football player in the school before and he said that although other teams they have played against have had female players, Avonworth itself has never had a female on the team. So, of course, we wanted to know how she went about getting on the team, “She had talked to me a couple times, and I wasn’t sure if she was serious because it is a big decision. She had seen me last spring and started to come to workouts in the middle of the offseason. Then she came over this summer, and the original thoughts were, ‘Okay. We are going to have to figure out some things, but we are glad to have her.” We went on to ask him about any and all changes made to the team and practices in response to her joining. Here were some of his reactions:
Q: Have you changed any workouts or training, for her?
J: “The only thing is locker room supervision and making sure she has a place to dress at away games. So those are the details that are different. She’s just part of what we do. She’s played in several in games, currently has a knee injury, but hopes to get back soon.”
Q: What was the response from the rest of the team?
J: “Everyone respects her. They treat her equally. She sits at the table with all of the same position players that she hangs out with. So, she’s found her role as one of the group.”
Q: Did you notice the team change in response to her presence?
J: “Nope. once the helmets on and the shoulder pads are on it’s just another player that’s out there, that’s participating.”
So all in all, the team has had a very positive reaction as a whole, and not much has changed in the football regime. However, we wanted to get an inside opinion from the team, so we asked some team members their opinions.
Q: Have you met Adriana?
Junior, Ryan Paszkiewicz, A: Yeah, I met her when she joined in early June.”
Q: What was your initial response to her joining the team?
Junior, Zach Homol, A: I think she is a great addition and she really tries her hardest to fit in.
Junior, Ryan Paszkiewicz, A: “I was confused when I heard she was cause, like there’s never been a girl playing before.”
Q: Has there been any change in the team?
Junior, Ryan Paszkiewicz, A: “Not really.”
Junior Zach Homol, A: “Yeah, a little bit, but as the season went on, the team got used to it.”
Q: Would you be open to more women joining the team?
Junior, Ryan Paszkiewicz, A: “Depends if they will actually work like the rest of the team, but yeah, I am.”
Junior, Zach Homol, A: “Sure, if they put in the same amount of work that everyone puts in and helps out with the team.”
After all that, we were very curious to see what Adrianna thought herself. When we asked the big question of why she decided to join football in the first place she said, “My family is a big football fan, and I always heard my dad talking about it, so I was like ‘oh that sounds fun’, so I decided to do it.” Her nonchalant answer left us anxious to know more. We asked her for her perspective about the player’s reactions, “At first, you could tell they didn’t like it. Now they’re okay with it.” When being asked to expand upon her experience in the male-dominated sport and if it affected the way she played she responded with: “At first it did because I always thought that I wasn’t like apart of the team or like ‘fitting in’, but now that I’m getting used to how it works, it’s not as bad.” She commented on her fellow teammates reactions to her joining by saying that: “At first, you could tell they didn’t like it. Now they’re okay with it.” Obviously other people have had opinions and reactions about Adrianna joining the Avonworth Antelopes, here’s what she has to report about who has opinions and what they are: “A lot of people, mostly my friends and all the girls have loved it, the guys not so much, but overall it has been a good reaction.” We were glad to hear that she has had an overall good experience and wrapped up by asking whether or not she thinks that she will inspire other girls to follow suite and join the team. She replied with an enthusiastic “I hope so!”
From afar, and up, close, and personal, the reactions surrounding Adrianna joining, have been very positive. She, herself, is apart of the team, and she is becoming a regular face at football games. The fans are very enthusiastic about her. Freshman, Hannah Palmer stated, “I think that’s really cool, it’s like female empowerment!” Junior, Krista Wright added, “I was shocked, like you usually don’t see girls on a football team. So initially, I was excited because you know, this is a big change from the past couple years. I am really excited to see how to year goes with her on the team.”
Avonworth High School welcomes you, Adrianna Giusto! Cheers to you and a good season!