PARKER, COLO. - When one Parker youth football team takes the field, you may notice just one of the players is different from all the rest.
The Parker Football Hawks are all about pushing the limits. The team is built on a strong roster of 10 and 11 year-old boys - and girl. That's right - just one girl taking the field with all the boys.
"I’m showing that girls can too and not just boys cause they can. It’s a free country," 11-year-old Jessica Bell said. Jessica has all the attributes it takes to be a great football player - the grit, toughness, dedication, and so much more.
Her teammates were a little surprised when she hit the gridiron with them for the first time.
"I thought she was just a sister of one of the guys until I learned she was actually playing with us. It was really cool," said one of them.
It didn't take them long to appreciate her ability as their quarterback.
"She's really nice, she can tackle, she can throw, she can catch, she can run," one of the boys said. "Even though she's a girl, don't judge a book by its cover."
"It makes me feel good about myself, that I'm not being taken easy cause I'm a girl." Jess said.
In fact, Jess still remembers the first time she got tackled. "It was, actually it felt pretty good."
The gridiron is no place for special treatment, and Jess wouldn't want it.
"They play me like I'm another boy. They don't say oh we can't hurt her cause she's a girl or stuff like that, but they don't try and hurt me, or think they can be better than me cause I'm a girl," she said.
Her determination on the field earns her respect from her opponents, from her teammates, and from her parents too.
"I hope more and more girl are going to play now because of her,"Jess' mother said.
An 11-year-old girl pushing the limits of what's possible.
"You can do whatever you want, there's no limits," said Jess.
She looks forward to continuing her football career as she grows up. Especially to having more protection as her offensive line keeps getting bigger.
By the way, Jessica wants to throw a football to Emmanuel Sanders, so he has a chance to play with a real football player.
Copyright 2016 KUSA