Female Antoinette Harris Looks for Walk-On Spot
It's not every day you'll see a female suit up for a football game. However, Redford Union high school alum and incoming freshman, Antoinette Harris is looking to become a walk-on wide receiver for the Rockets this fall. Harris, a 5'6, 160 pound wide-out played on her varsity team this past fall - ultimately resulting in the firing of their varsity head football coach. "They didn't acknowledge the fact that I was a girl football player, they kicked me off the team, and I had to fight my way back on the team. Now because the football coach let me play in games they fired him," Harris stated.
Obviously being a female football player isn't easy when people are so quick to judge. "It's kind of hard, but I just keep God with me and keep praying, and everyone who supports me is behind me. When I tell people I'm a football player, they think I'm playing flag football or soccer or they think I'm on a girl's football team when I'm really playing with guys," said Harris.
Neither Coach Matt Campbell nor any other coach in the country would offer a 5'6 female wide receiver, but Harris is just looking for a tryout. "I am supposed to be going to their tryouts, they told me basically that they'll have to talk to me, it's a walk-on tryout. They want to see how I am as a female football player."
What do people say when you tell them you're a football player? "They think I'm playing flag football or soccer, they think I'm on a girl's football team but it's really guys.
Harris was a three-sport athlete at Redford Union high school where she ran competitive track and cheered. "My heart has always been in football, nobody really would accept me as a female football player so I did cheer and track too," Harris said.
Harris didn't withstand the long and grueling recruiting process that most high school football players go through, but she still had to decide on her academic future. "I chose Toledo because I loved the school and academics. I don't play football for publicity, I do it for a passion, that's why I'm going to take a chance and try it in college."
Similar to any football player that suits up at any level, Harris says her number one dream is to play in the NFL some day. "My dream since I was a little girl was to be the first NFL female player. I take that dream seriously; I train seven days a week and twice a day with a personal trainer. We train four hours every afternoon to work on speed and hand-eyed coordination."
Harris says she's not used to a lot of support being behind her, but she keeps going anyhow. "I want people to believe in me and not doubt me. There aren't a lot of supporters for a female player but if it were your child you would support them. Anything is possible with God, I've been adopted several times, I've been mentally and physically abused, I've had to keep my head up, and you just have to keep going no matter how hard the struggle is. I have been homeless, molested and adopted; I'm going to make it I know I am."
Rocket Nation; let's stand behind Antoinette Harris as she makes the journey to tryout for the Rockets. We'll keep you posted on Antoinette in the next few months.