Newman High School Female Freshman to Start on Football Team

On the field, Ereana McCallister blends in with the rest of her high school freshmen football team in Carrollton.

“She hasn’t missed a beat and she's doing fine," said Newman Smith coach Paul Ressa. "She blends in and you'd never know.”

The soft-spoken teen, who recently moved from Florida to North Texas, is the team’s only female player.

“I enjoy it. It’s fun to do,” said Ereana. “I get to play with the boys and show them that sometimes, a girl can do better than you,” she quips.

After successfully trying out for the team, Ereana is playing on both sides of the football as a defensive end and a wide receiver.

Her mother, Tomeka Manfoumbi-Ward, told NBC 5 Ereana has played football for four years, mainly in West Melbourne, Florida.

Manfoumbi-Ward said she was apprehensive about allowing her daughter to play on her new Texas high school team.

“I was nervous. At first, I told her no, then she continued to bug me over and over, so I said, 'OK, let's try it. Let's see if you can make the team and if you can make it then I will consider it,'” recalled Manfoumbi-Ward.

Her determination impressed the coaches first during summer workouts and now during two-a-days.

Ereana is the second female to play under Ressa.

“The only difference for her is logistics," said Ressa. "We have to work a little bit harder to make sure she has a secure place to dress and things like that. The coaches and the kids handle it just like she's one of us.”

On the field, Ereana withstands long practices with fearless determination that she hopes will translate to the gridiron on big game nights.

She also hopes to be an inspiration to others.

“Some girls think that they can't do it. Then, when they see another girl, they're encouraged to do it themselves,” she said.

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