Quarterback Erin DiMeglio made history on Friday August 31. being the first female quarterback to play for a Florida high school team.
DiMeglio played in the last couple minutes of South Plantation’s High School game against Nova High School. On two snaps, DiMeglio handed the ball off both times in the 31-14 win.
She may have been the third string quarterback for South Plantation High School, but she quickly became a fan favorite.
Fans were chanting “Put Erin in! Put Erin in!” during the final minutes, before she checked in with 1:40 left.
Coach Doug Gatewood believes DiMeglio is a legitimate third-string quarterback and handles her position better than anybody else.
During DiMeglio freshman year, she was the quarterback of the girls’ flag football team, but had frustrations.
“She’ll get upset because the girls can’t catch her ball because she throws too hard…She could throw better than a lot of guys.” says Gatewood.
Also, during DiMeglio’s freshman year she stood on the sidelines at varsity football games and helped however she could. She was the ball girl, manager and sometimes trainer’s assistant.
Last season, Gatewood invited DiMeglio to throw to the boys at an off-season workout. After quickly adjusting to the men’s football, she asked to try again the next day with a helmet. After throwing well with the helmet, DiMeglio wanted to test her skills with full pads.
Coach Gatewood didn’t mind, but told the young DiMeglio that she couldn’t play with the team. The young female QB eventually wore Gatewood down.
Football has always been a big part of DiMeglio’s life. At a young age, her father taught her to throw a football. She grew up a Miami Dolphins fan and at times tried imitating her favorite player Dan Marino, when she would throw with her father. DiMeglio wears number 13 to honor her favorite player Marino.
It’s amazing what DiMeglio has done for high school football in Florida and hopefully athletics all over the country. She is truly an inspiration to all females that want to play competitive sports with males. One day I hope females can play competitively with males and be reminded of DiMeglio’s historical game against Nova High School.
South Plantation’s next game is today versus Stranahan High School.