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Breaking barriers: Freshman becomes Averett University's first female football player

Bailey Blake also played football in high school

DANVILLE, Va. – Bailey Blake is kicking off a new era for Averett University.

"I just feel like I have to be on my toes all the time and set an example for the girls around me," Blake said.

Blake is the university's first female football player.

She's a kicker.

"The guys in general, I've learned that no matter what they're always going to have my back," Blake said.

Head Coach Cleive Adams said the team has had to adjust to having a female player, but he's not complaining.

"Locker room space, just having a female on the field and in and around, it's a little unique," Adams said. 

"But I think in terms of our team and who we are, if there's going to be a team in the region to take it on I think we're equipped for it. It's been pretty cool. The guys have embraced her and brought her in like a teammate first and a sister second. So I think it's a wonderful opportunity for Averett University and Bailey."

Returning first team All-American kicker Cole Westberry said having Blake on the team is helpful.

"We always have competition every day, so it's nice just to have a bunch of people that push me and I can push them to get better," Westberry said. "I think she fits in really well now and it's comfortable now that we're about a month into the season."

"If you want to do something that not a lot of females do, or even if you're a guy, if you want to do something not a lot of guys do go ahead and break a barrier," Blake said. "Be your own person, be yourself and do what you want to do."

A good mindset, as she kicks off her college career.


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