Rachel Bridges is the first woman to join the football team at Timber Creek. Bridges, a junior, plays on offensive line for the Falcons. She says that her whole family loves football and she grew up watching her cousins play for their high schools and her love for the sport grew.
“Varsity has always been an aiming point cause all my older family members have played on varsity and now a couple of them are in college playing right now,” Bridges said. “I love watching their games and just going out there to support them and that’s just always been a thing for me like really high on my list, and now that I come on varsity it’s like playing on Friday Night Lights it’s just a dream come true.”
She started out when she was young, playing since she was in third grade and became better and better as the years went on. Once she made it to High School she decided to do two things: wrestling and football.
“I didn’t even know wrestling was a sport until freshman year and coach Wasche asked me what sports was I doing and I said I had a big gap in-between football and powerlifting and he asked me to come out and wrestle and I loved it.”
She was also immediately talented, winning the 215-pound division of the UIL Class 6A State Wrestling Championships in February of 2015, in her sophomore year.
To join football, it was one simple process: she came and tried out. Bridges practiced over the summer and had about two weeks of classes working on positions. There were classes in the morning and practice after school once the school year started up again.
It’s a scary thought to be pitted against a giant teen boy with the only goal to knock you down. Bridges said it made her a little nervous, but continued on to say, “but my goal is to knock them down, too.”
“You can’t go in there with fear,” Bridges said. “If you go in there with fear you’re gonna end up getting beat in the end so you just gotta believe in yourself and your abilities and keep going.”
Bridges says she is really close with the guys on her team and being a girl is not a problem for them. “They’re all pretty cool with it and they enjoy it and we all have fun.”
She doesn’t plan on playing after high school, though. Her goal is to continue wrestling, and if something were to happen to her that would result in losing her wrestling career, she would want to be a doctor.
Bridges isn’t afraid of what people might think, she loves sports and she will play if she can. It doesn’t matter that she is the only girl on the team, or if society frowns upon what she’s doing, she plays for her own enjoyment and to show other people that there is never a box; if you set your mind to it, you can do it.
“They can do whatever they want, if they want to play football they can play football. They just have to want it,” Bridges said. “They can do whatever they put their mind to, if they enjoy the sport they can play it…I just want people to do what makes them happy.”
If you go to a game, make sure to watch for Bridges number 67 and see her play out her dream.