Oxford Middle School makes history; two women on football team

A woman and a girl are defying the norm on the football field in Oxford.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 9:34 AM
Updated: Sep 16, 2019 8:42 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - During the day, Aniah Echols is just like the other girls, and her coach is an English teacher for Oxford Middle school.

But when the final bell sounds at the end of a school day, they defy all odds and suit up for football practice.

"Being on the field when people told me I couldn't; and showing them that girls can do more than just staying at home taking care of the kids, clean and go to work. They can rewrite history," Echols said.

Echols is an offensive lineman. Megan Wolfe is an assistant coach.

Echols is the first female to play in the regular season as a starter, and Wolfe is the first-ever female coach.

"In high school, I tried to go to an interest meeting, and the high school coached stopped me and said that girls didn't play football," Wolfe said.

Echols said the women in her family had played basketball, but she didn't have an interest in the sport.

She said each day is an adjustment being on a team with 40 boys.

Wolfe said the guys on the team accepted them immediately.

However, she said other teams don't always view them the same way.

"We get the looks," Wolfe said. "Aniah and I have talked about it, and we expect it. We talked about how to handle it, and that's to be expected."

She said that's what brought them closer.

"We got a little handshake that we do and stuff like that," Wolfe said. "We bonded and we've gotten that together because we are two females on an all-male team."

They said when people start to doubt them, they let their performance do the talking.

"She holds her own. I hold my own, and we have a very sturdy table, as I like to say, at Oxford Middle School because we're holding it down for the girls," Wolfe said.

"They're 100 percent going to get side-tracked that I'm a girl, so I have the advantage to get them on the ground and say, 'Hey, get back up. We're still doing this,'" Echols said.

Wolfe now has 40 players, and Echols has 40 brothers who have each others' backs.

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