LIBERTY, Mo. — Football has been called “a game of inches.” At one high school in the metro, it’s also a game of equality, as one football player steps across gender lines.
Liberty North High’s freshman team leader sounds a little different, but when she throws the football, her passes are just as potent.
This isn’t 14-year old Brooke Liebsch first step between the white lines. She’s spent the last six years playing Pop Warner youth football, learning the game with other kids in Clay County.
Now, Liebsch takes the next step, becoming the first female quarterback in Liberty North High’s young history, suiting up with the school’s freshman team.
“I used to play soccer and I didn’t like it,” Liebsch said. “Then, one day, I caught a football and I’m like, I want to play football. Let’s go.”
“Girls can do anything a guy can do. Girls can be just as strong as a guy. There’s a lot of them that play football.”
But not all of them have this much experience. That’s why many of her Eagle teammates say Brooke has their respect.
“She plays like everybody else out there,” A.J. Wood, LHNS freshman receiver, said. “She works out like us. Nothing different about her, I guess. She’s a part of the football team.”
“I’m used to being hit really hard. I don’t care if they hit me or not,” Liebsch said.
“Girls listen a lot better than guys do for some reason,” Brian Rockers, Liberty North’s first-year freshman coach, said. “That’s just the way it is. She allows us to coach and she lets us coach her and she listens.”
Brooke’s football aspirations don’t stop at the quarterback position. This high school freshman also likes playing wide receiver and defensive back, in an effort to do anything she has to do to get on the gridiron.
“Some girls say girls shouldn’t play football, which I don’t get why, because girls can do anything guys can do,” Liebsch said.
So, maybe this player is different. Maybe this player just wants to play more than others do.
Liberty North, like many Missouri schools, is involved in summer football workouts. Those teams won’t begin preparations for their opening games until late in July.