She’s a powerhouse!
An 11-year-old Jacksonville football player makes history as the first girl to score a touchdown in her league, Action News Jax reports.
Keilani Contreras is a football player, an artist, and a straight-A student. Her inspiration for joining the sport began when she was younger, inspired by her brother.
“I was inspired by my brother ever since I was little. And one day, my Dad said, ‘Do you want to play football?’ So, I said, ‘Sure!’ So, he signed me up, and ever since that, I loved it,” Keilani told reporters.
Since then, she has been playing for the ESYFL spring youth football league, making history as the first girl in her division, the Arlington Football Association, ever to score a touchdown. League officials say she is only the second in the history of the league. Keilani caught the ball for a touchdown, supporting her team’s 26-0 win.
“Yeah, that was like my first touchdown…I felt amazing. Like, I felt really proud of myself,” said Keilani.
The 11-year-old went into the endzone wearing the number eight emblazoned on her jersey in honor of her friend Deaurra Nealy. They passed earlier this year at the age of 8 due to a condition linked to COVID-19. The number, she says, helped motivate her to do her very best on the field and make Deaurra proud.
“I wear the number eight because my best friend, she was like my little sister, she passed away, and she passed away at the age of eight. And so, when I was wearing eight, I felt like I had to make her proud and have to show my honor for her. So, I made that touchdown, and I made sure I made that touchdown, and nothing else could stop me there,” Keilani said.
The young star has experienced her fair share of trauma this last year, but she is still motivated to keep going in hopes that her example inspires another young girl somewhere to go for what she wants.
“Girl power, I feel like that’s a lot because girls sometimes they’re scared to go out for stuff and sometimes boys might be like, ‘Oh, you can’t do this because you’re a girl. You can’t do that because you’re this,’ or something like that. Well, look at me; I’m a football player,” she exclaimed.
Yes, you are, baby girl! We are all so proud of you, Keilani!
Photo Courtesy of Action News Jax