Florida’s First Female Quarterback

Elissa Sanci

Erin DiMeglio is unlike any girl in Florida. When she’s not at home doing chores, at school in class or babysitting, she is playing football as the only female quarterback on an all-male football team in Florida.

Although she is only the third-string quarterback for South Plantation High School, Erin DiMeglio is now the first female to ever play for a Florida high school football team in history. DiMeglio is only 17, a high school senior, but she has already attracted as much attention as any star athlete would hope to gain.

DiMeglio joined her first flag football league in fourth grade, where all but four players were male. When she was a freshman in high school, she became the quarterback of the all-girls flag football team, and was easily the best player on the team. According to her coach, Doug Gatewood, in a quote acquired by People magazine, “She can pretty much wing a girls’ football wherever she wants to put it.”

After Gatewood saw her capabilities, he allowed DiMeglio to practice with his football team. She quickly grew accustomed to differences between flag football and high school football and Gatewood put her on the team, seeing all of the advantages of having someone with an arm like hers on the field.

Through all of this, Erin DiMeglio has been extremely humble, according to her parents. “She’s got a pretty good grasp of it. She’s concerned about the attention on her, when she wants the attention on her whole team,” says Kathleen DiMeglio (quoted by ABC Action News).

The enormity of this milestone is not lost. Women have come so far in the past 20 or so years in regards to football. Fifteen years ago, women playing football amongst men was unheard of. Since then, over 500 girls have played in Florida alone, and Erin DiMeglio is the first to become a quarterback.