Becca Longo is making football history as she is the first female to receive a full football scholarship. She signed her letter of intent Wednesday with Adams State University in Colorado. She has a few words of encouragement for women who may think their gender will keep them from doing what they want in life.
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The 18-year-old spoke to PEOPLE to give her reaction after signing her intent to play for the Div-II school in the same position she played in high school, kicker.
”It didn’t really kick in until a couple hours after, I just thought I was signing a piece of paper to go play the sport I love again. Even right now, I’m still shocked. It just doesn’t feel real.”
Longo says she recalls playing catch with her older brother when he played football when she was very young. At that time it wasn’t common for girls to play football, but when she was a sophomore in high school, she decided to try out.
She made the JV team, but a year later she moved and changed schools. Because any player that transfers from another school cannot play for a year, she was barred from playing her junior year.
Longo had a great senior year though, and the collegiate level took notice. Adams State brought her and her family to the campus, and she fell in love with it immediately. “Everyone was so warm and welcoming,” she explained. “I just loved everything about it.”
Longo’s gender has nothing to do with her scholarship as she is actually a very skilled kicker. She’s faced her fair share of ridicule along the way, playing in a sport dominated by males.
She had some words of advice for other girls who may want to do something that doesn’t seem possible.
“If they want to play football, go out and play football. If they want to play hockey, they can go out and play hockey,” Longo said today on “Good Morning America.” “Just don’t listen to all the negativity because you’re going to get a lot of it.”
She reminded everyone that “Just go do what you love,” and “everything else will fall into place.”