Power Girl

Meet the freshman girl throwing down with the boys in high school’s most physical sports


Lance Melching

Freshman Rebecca McCray listens to instruction from the referee during the Rebels match against Highlands on Dec. 10. McCray was one of five girls on the wrestling team this year, but the only girl to also play on the football team.

Samuel Colmar

To freshman Rebecca McCray, sports aren’t just a passion, they’re a lifestyle.

And between football, wrestling, and track, she makes sure she stays busy doing what she loves most—playing sports and breaking boundaries along the way.

When the school year started, McCray set her sights on volleyball. However, early into the season she realized football was really where her heart was.

“She wasn’t giving (football) just a try, she was all in from day one,” head coach Bryson Warner said. “She sets goals and she does everything she can to reach those goals.”

“It was super impressive to watch her work ethic,” Warner continued. “She’s very coachable … she didn’t come to try to gain attention, she just wanted to be a part of the football team.”

At just 14, McCray has already played on both the school’s freshman and junior varsity football teams as a kicker, wide receiver, safety, and kick returner.

McCray’s ultimate goal, however, is to play varsity football. To Warner, this is not just a possibility, it’s the expectation.

“She does a super job at being accountable, being there everyday, and working on being a better football player … She has a high energy to her, we know she’s going to be playing varsity,” Warner said.

Joining the football team wasn’t exactly easy for McCray, though.

“One thing that was hard at first was the locker rooms. Before practice (the team) would go into the boys locker room and say what they’re going to do, they’d have roll call and everything, but I couldn’t go into the guys locker room, so that was hard.

“The bus rides were usually interesting because they teased me a lot, but honestly that’s what I’m used to,” McCray said. As the season progressed, however, the teasing turned into cheering.

“She quickly became a part of the team. We put her in almost every game,” Warner said. “The guys became so excited to see her have success or get out there and play.”

Junior Jonah Vittitow, McCray’s wrestling and football teammate, said “She’s a hard worker and always gives her best effort … I’m glad to have her on the team.”

Growing up, McCray played on predominantly co-ed teams alongside her brother.

“I was always used to being on guys teams because we (McCray and her brother) would play some of the same sports together … but he grew out of it,” McCray said.

As time went on, it was McCray’s mom that was the one that pushed her to continue playing.

“My mom liked that I played sports; my dad didn’t really care,” she said. “My dad and my brother were into video games, and me and my mom were into sports.”

“I never really watched football growing up because my dad never would, so I’m one of the first people in my family to enjoy football.”

Once football ended, McCray decided to join the wrestling team, and after that, track. According to McCray, track, wrestling, and football will be the focus going forward.