Stefhany Gonzalez, listed at 5-8 and 211 pounds, says she’s treated just like any other player on the North Dallas High football team.
She has seen limited playing time but she still attends practice and can be seen on the sidelines during the games.
Although she was sick and in street clothes last Friday, Stefhany was one of the team captains against Seagoville, and participated in the coin flip at the start of the game.
“I’ll be honest, it meant a lot to me,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it when the coaches told me.”
Stefhany, a senior, began playing for the Bulldogs last spring and played in the Orange and White Spring game. She saw her first game action against Spruce and also played in the win over Sunset.
She recalled playing on the line against Spruce. And how did that go?
“They did a combo and two guys hit me at the same time,” she said. “It was pretty bad. I stopped playing the rest of the game.
“I stood up and came back running to the coaches.”
Did you think you were dying?
“Kinda,” she said. “At the moment they hit me, yes!”
The Spruce players didn’t help her up, but a North Dallas teammate did.
In the win over Sunset, Stefhany said, “I think we played good even though I only played in the last quarter.”
Stefhany said her teammates and coaches treat her the same as the others.
“They treat me as if I was one of them. Some of them have a little compassion. The others just hit me as if I was one of them.”
Asked which is harder — learning the plays or playing the game, she said: “I think both.”
Stefhany said she used to play football with her friends in Mexico. The Cowboys and Patriots are her favorite teams.
“It was my reason that I decided to play for the team,” she said. “The difference is that in Mexico sometimes I played flag [football].”
Stefhany said she has her parents’ support.
“In the beginning, they were afraid of me playing since it’s with males,” she said. “Now they feel proud of it.”
Stefhany has been at North Dallas for 2 1/2 years. Her locker is next to coaches office and she gets dressed in the girls restroom.
“I want to thank everybody for supporting me,” she said.