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Middle school student makes history as first girl to play on school's football team

Lauryn Wilson is the first girl to play on the school's football team.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Hopkins Middle School student Lauryn Wilson has made history as the first girl to play on the school's football team. 

She's also the first girl to play on a winning championship team.

Lauryn wears her Eagles jersey proudly, number 60 on the back.

Her coach, Mark Davis, says she approached him asking to play.

Coach Davis said, "She played one of the toughest positions on the team, Right Tackle."

Lauryn is the first and only girl to ever play on the Hopkins Middle School football team.

Wilson also loves playing basketball and volleyball but Lauryn says football is one of her passions. 

"I just like playing it, its fun," Wilson said. "It's an honor. I like being the first."

This young woman is as focused as she is strong.

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"A great experience. I enjoyed it," Wilson said. "Even though sometimes it was weird, but I like playing with the boys."

Coach Davis says he took the 13-year-old under his wing.

"I love her like my own daughter," Davis said. "But don't think that meant she got special treatment. She trained just as hard, maybe even harder than the boys."

"Lauryn came in and she out lifted some of the guys," said the coach.

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Credit: Fayth Wilson

Wilson's mom, Fayth, is her biggest supporter.  She says her daughter tackled challenges on and off the field. 

"I am so proud. I was probably the loudest in the stadium," Fayth said. 

Her daughter's safety, she said, was her first priority. "My biggest worry was what happens if she got hit too hard?" 

This year, Hopkins Middle school won the championship against Alcorn Middle School, the school her father went to. 

Lauryn's father passed away 10 years ago. Her family says her drive and persistence would've made her dad proud.

"The situation that made me really cry was he went to Alcorn Middle School. He played right tackle," Fayth said. "She played right tackle with Hopkins against Alcorn, and they beat Alcorn." 

Lauryn's message to other girls considering playing in a male dominated sport? "Don't be afraid to do it just because you're a girl or something like that. It's not really important anymore."

Lauryn says she plans to continue playing football in high school.

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