SWHS Football Has a Female Teammate


Yesenia McKenna

Bella McKenna, #42 getting excited before the game.

Izabella McKenna, Editor

The Froshmore football team at South Windsor High School is off to a great start with the team  being undefeated in their recent games against Farmington and Bristol Central. However, that’s not the thing on most SWHS students’ minds, the thing on their minds is there’s a girl on the team. 

Bella McKenna is a sophomore at South Windsor High School. McKenna chose to play football because she has always been in love with the sport. During her 2021 volleyball season, she expressed an interest in wanting to play. When she was younger, she would join the boys in gym class and play football with them not caring if she got tackled or not.

“I feel no different than having a boy on the team, ” said Head Coach David Hodge.

McKenna expressed how being the only girl on the team was weird at first because she was scared that the guys wouldn’t accept her being on the team or playing football, but after a while, they embraced having her on the team and they all started becoming friends. 

“I don’t care that she is on the team. It doesn’t bother me, she is funny sometimes,” said Ryan LaGaurdia, the Froshmore team quarterback. 

McKenna plays halfback and cornerback but her primary position is halfback. She enjoys her long practices and learning new plays or tackling techniques. The locker room situation was awkward for her at first because she couldn’t hold all her equipment in the tiny locker room she has, so she brings her helmet to the coaches’ office every day. Since she can’t enter the boys locker room it’s sometimes a struggle to get all her things ready to take off for practices or games. 

“It feels amazing to know that my older sister is representing girls in a male dominated sport but also finding confidence in playing football for the first time. I’m extremely happy for her,” said freshman, and Mckenna’s sister, Anna McKenna. 

During the game against Bristol Central, McKenna was going to run a touchdown scoring play, but a player for the Rams came out of nowhere and took her down. The tackle was caught on video and sent everywhere, putting Mckenna’s name out there, but not necessarily in the way she wanted it to be.

“I honestly wasn’t expecting that video to go everywhere; it’s how I got my nickname Bella and the Bobcats,” said McKenna.  “When I got hit, it hurt a little. It hurt to breathe for a minute, then I was fine. I was thinking, I really hope I didn’t let go of the ball,” and she didn’t.

McKenna got up after the play, and the next play she immediately blocked someone preventing the Rams from getting the ball to the player during the game. The Bobcats final score of the game was 6-0.