Although it happens more often than it used to, girls playing boys sports is still rare. Last week, the Tulsa World newspaper ran a story about a 15 year old girl playing football at Sperry High School.
News on 6 reporter Rick Wells introduces us to a brother-sister playing for Byrd Middle School.
13 year old Marshall Gilbert and his 12 year old sister Peyton are students at Byrd Middle School. They have similar interests, he runs cross country and plays soccer, she plays soccer too and they both play football. That's right, Marshall was kicking for the varsity team but the JV's didn't have a kicker so the coach came to Peyton. "He said do you want to kick on the football team, I was like, OK."
Actually she thought he was kidding, so did her mom, until the coach said he wanted to see her too. Karen Gilbert: "Then I though oh, great it's a real question."
It was a real question and coach Shane Wise is glad everyone said yes. "I brought a different element to our team, which girls can play football and girls can excel at a boy's sport."
The season is only two games old and Marshall has had some scoring opportunities, for Peyton, not yet. Peyton Gilbert: "Just kick-offs and stuff." It is a little strange for Mom, who says having your daughter dress up in football pads, but otherwise not bad. Karen Gilbert: "She's got great support from the team, great support from her friends at school, no harassment at all."
So at practice after school, Marshall and Peyton both work on their kicking.
Interesting note, 12 years ago in a News on 6 story, 6 month old Peyton Gilbert was getting her doctor's clearance to stop wearing a special monitor when she slept, because she was born prematurely. She is doing fine now and kicking footballs for Byrd Middle School.
Byrd Middle School has a game Tuesday night at LaFortune Stadium. The JV game is at 6 PM and the varsity game follows at 7:30 PM. Peyton wears number 45 on the JV team and Marshall wears number 10 on the varsity.