LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) - Emma Strom, 17, of Chatfield Senior High School, set some firsts this year as the only girl on the school's varsity football team. She says she is the first female skilled player in Colorado to be on a state championship-winning team.
The Chatfield Senior High School football team took home the 4A state championship trophy on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Empower Field at Mile High.
"I was the first female skilled player to letter, and the first female at my school to score a touchdown," Strom said. "I was also the first girl to play in a state championship game and go to a state championship game, other than one kicker in 1A who also won."
Strom has been running track for the last 10 years, but for her senior year, she decided to test her speed under a helmet and pads. She was inspired by her older brother, who also played football at Chatfield.
"I started just as a wide receiver," Strom said. "Then I joined the DBs and the DBs turned out to be my favorite group, and I loved it. I loved running after people, and tackling them, and hitting them, and just making contact, and then I got into the running back rotation, and just getting direct snaps, and running the ball, and that was a lot of fun."
Chatfield head coach Bret McGatlin says Strom earned her spot to be a part of the school's big victory. He says one day at track practice, in spring 2021, she asked him if she could play on the team. Without hesitation he said "yes," and she started training in June.
"She worked so hard, and by the time football started in August, the players would never know that she was a female football player, because she did everything that we asked everybody else to do," McGatlin said. "By mid-season, she was playing pretty regularly, and then scored a huge touchdown in a game, and it was a long run. It was really cool."
Strom says she plans to run track in college, and is still considering whether or not she'll take football to the next level.
Regardless, she's made memories that will last a lifetime, inspiring others to follow their hearts, no matter the obstacle.
"Just get out there," Strom said. "Go do it, believe in yourself. I mean it sounds scary, and it is hard, but just do it. I loved it."
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