Christina M. Tapper

Meet Erin DiMeglio, Florida's First Female High School QB

  • From the Mag
  • Christina M. Tapper
  • November 5, 2012, 5:05 PM

Erin DiMeglio knows how to take a hit. The 18-year-old senior at Florida's South Plantation High School has already suffered a broken nose, a concussion, and dislocated fingers. And that was on the basketball court with South Plantation's girls' varsity team. So in some ways she was well prepared for her next challenge: suiting up for the school's football team. DiMeglio is the third-string quarterback for the South Plantation Paladins, and on August 31, she became what is believed to be the first girl to play QB in a high school game. She took two snaps, handing the ball off both times, in her team's 31–14 win in the season opener. On September 21, she completed her first pass in a regular season game.

DiMeglio has played on a girl's flag football team since she was in the fourth grade and had been a ball girl and a manager for the Paladins before she was invited to an off-season workout last spring. DiMeglio went on to QB South Plantation's varsity team in a seven-on-seven tournament last summer, where she threw five touchdowns and earned her spot on this season's roster. SI KIDS asked DiMeglio to share what it's like to be the only girl leading a high school team on the gridiron.

The first time I suited up for a high school regular season game, I...
Got a few goosebumps, but I wasn't nervous. I wanted to play so badly, and I'm so happy I got the chance.

Playing against boys is...
Intense. They take it a lot more seriously than the girls I played with during flag football.

Playing with boys is...
Fun. I love this team. They are a good group of guys — very supportive, and they treat me like a member of the team. They are my brothers. Also, I throw hard, and sometimes it was hard for girls on the flag football team to catch the ball. With boys you always have to throw hard.

My friends think I'm...
Inspiring. A lot my friends and schoolmates come up to me and say what I'm doing is cool and say that I'm setting a great example for girls and for the school. They also say I'm crazy!

I want to prove...
I didn't set out to prove anything. I just want to play football. But I guess I am trying to prove that girls can do anything guys can do.

When opponents don't take me seriously, I...
Ignore it and shrug it off. They can view me however they want to. I'm still going to play my game.

Some people are nervous I'll get hurt, but I'm...
Not nervous at all. I'm prepared to get hit. I know this is a rough and physical game. It could happen and will happen. I'm ready for it.

This season I want to...
Throw a TD. I want to contribute in any way possible. I hope we go undefeated and win the state championship.

My favorite sports teams are...
The Miami Dolphins and the Miami Heat. I grew up rooting for them. We're all fans in my family.

My favorite quarterback is...
[Miami Dolphins great] Dan Marino. He read the defenses well, was unafraid, and was a great leader.

Besides football I like to...
Play basketball. This spring I'll play lacrosse and flag football.

My proudest sports moments were...
When I completed my first pass in preseason, and during my freshman year in basketball I scored 16 points in an upset win in the playoffs.

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how good is she

whan she mass up her lage

That is very inspiring

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