After one eighth-grade student won the vote of homecoming queen at her middle school during the halftime homecoming ceremony, she had to quickly swap her tiara for a helmet to hit the field.
Ta’Mya Bulger, 13, made history for Clanton Middle School in Alabama, as the school's first African-American girl to win homecoming queen, and as the school's only female football player on the CMS Tigers.
“As a mom, it was incredible,” Tamera Hinton, Bulger’s mom, told Yahoo Lifestyle, about her daughter winning the title of homecoming queen. “She’s humble, she’s not the most ‘status quo’ popular girl, but she’s kind, she’s on the honor roll, and she’s probably the most athletic in the school. It was nice that she got this recognition.”
The versatile athlete, who also plays girls basketball and soccer, and plans to participate in track this spring, serves on both sides for the school's football team as a wide receiver and defensive back.
According to Hinton, her daughter initially became interested in football after her little brother started to play, and when she was in fifth grade, she joined a team. While Bulger has been playing the sport for three years, Hinton did not allow her to try out for the school’s team when she was in the seventh-grade.
“I wasn’t sure she was ready, especially to play with the boys at this age,” Hinton explained, but this year, she relented.
“I loved it,” first-year head coach Thomas Hughes told CBS42. “I told her when she asked me if she could play – absolutely, I told her [I’d] loved to have her come out and see what she had.”
Being the only girl on the team doesn't make Bulger feel any different than the rest of her teammates, and her opponents certainly don’t treat her any differently for being a girl.
When asked by Yahoo what she thinks when she takes the field, she responded simply, “I want to hit.”
Bulger said she plans to continue playing football through high school and she hopes to play soccer in college, which her mom says is her “number one sport.” Until then, she and the rest of the CMS football team will continue to take on their opponents throughout the season.
Thomas Hughes and a representative for CMS did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
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