Sun, Apr 16, 2017 - Page 10 News List

High-school student first woman to get football scholarship

AFP, LOS ANGELES

A teenage high-school student is believed to have made US sporting history by becoming the first woman to win a college scholarship to play football.

Becca Longo, an 18-year-old senior at Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona, has signed a letter of intent at Adams State University in Colorado after impressing coaches with her place-kicking, US media reported on Friday.

Although women have played college gridiron before, Longo is thought to be the first to earn a football scholarship.

Longo made 30 of 33 extra point attempts this season for her high-school team and connected with her lone field goal attempt.

Her accuracy — and a highlights reel Longo compiled herself and sent to colleges — caught the attention of Adams State head football coach Timm Rosenbach, who played briefly in the NFL.

“She’s kind of put herself out there to let everyone know she wants to do this,” Rosenbach told CNN. “If she’s able to compete at a level we think she’s able to compete at, we should afford her that opportunity to do that.”

Longo was offered the scholarship after being invited to visit the college.

“I was so emotional. I was just so grateful that somebody believed in me and that I could actually do it,” Longo said of her offer.

She is also to play basketball at the college.

Rosenbach said Longo’s reliability in front of the goalposts was more of an issue than her gender.

“It’s hard to find good kickers,” he told CNN. “She’s got great mental toughness. She has to, if she’s put herself in this position... By having that mental toughness, she deserves an opportunity right there to compete.”

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