One of the most remarkable things about Laura Yancy playing Southeast Junior High football  is that nobody had a problem with having a girl on the team.

One of the most remarkable things about Laura Yancy playing Southeast Junior High football  is that nobody had a problem with having a girl on the team.

Well, nobody except the young player’s mother, who feared her child might get injured.

“I used to play flag football when I was little,” said Laura, 13, daughter of Ron and Pam Yancy.

As she got older, she wanted to move on to tackle football.

“I fought her playing tackle football for years,” Mrs. Yancy said. “But she didn’t get hurt.”

“They had mini-Lancer football camp and Laura begged us to let her go,” Yancy said. “We said, ‘Go to the pre-season camp, and if you like it  go for it’. She loved it.”

“I like getting out there and proving I can tackle guys,” Laura said. “And it’s just the sport itself. It’s fun to play.”

She played during the 2009 season and again this season.

“She’s had tremendous support from administration, the coaches and the team,” Yancy said.“ There was never anything really negative, and you don’t know how many ladies have come up to me and said they would have liked to play football in high school, but back then it wasn’t allowed.”

“The other players know she’s a girl, but she’s just like one of the boys on the team,” Mrs. Yancy added.

“In her first year, Laura had the physical skills, but didn’t know the game that well,” Yancy said. “Her teammates really helped her with that.”

“Last year I was the starting kicker and back-up quarterback,” Laura said. “This year I was starting tailback and starting cornerback.”

She thought nothing of  playing with a broken finger. “I broke it during practice,” she said.

“Her mother and I are proud of her for what she’s accomplished,” Yancy said. “There’s a lot of firsts she had to meet head-on.”

One of the most obvious issues was, should Laura be in the boys’ locker room? The answer was no.

“At home games I get my  own locker room,” she said. “Once last year I had to dress for  practice in the janitor’s room because there was a volleyball game going on.”

The season ended Tuesday with a game against St. Mary’s Colgan Junior High at Hutchinson Field. The Lancers handed the Panthers their only loss of the Crawford-Cherokee Counties Junior League football season, with a 30-6 score.

“We tied for second in the league,” Laura said proudly.

Her mother said that this marks the end of her football career, because she’s going to switch to volleyball and not play football at Southeast High School.

Her husband isn’t quite so definite about that. “It’s a long time until football season,” Yancy said. “We’ll see.”

Right now Laura is transitioning into basketball, which she will play with the girls team. She was also in karate for five years.

There’s plenty of time for Laura, an eighth grader at the Weir Attendance Center, to decide on a career, but she’s been thinking about it.

“I’d kind of like to finish high school, go to college for chiropractic, and play basketball and softball,” Laura said.

She has a twin sister, Katie, who’s a cheerleader and into gymnastics. The oldest sister, Kayla, is a Southeast junior and has been a dancer in the Jody Phillips Dance Company for 14 years.

“For a mother who didn’t go out for sports, I have three very active daughters,” Mrs. Yancy said. “We never miss going to anything they do.”