Kelly Powers grew up watching the Patriots find unparalleled success on the football field and decided she would give it a try herself. A year later, the 14-year-old helped her team to a Super Bowl win and earned an invitation to try out for the league’s all-star team.
“It doesn’t bother me to be the only girl,” Powers said. “I went to a clinic last year and all of my teammates were there. The coaches wanted to play and it was really run.”
Playing running back and wide receiver, Powers scored six touchdowns this season despite missing three games with a concussion — a concussion she suffered after making a particularly hard hit from her cornerback position.
“It was a great tackle,” said Powers’ mother, Megan James, who admitted she was initially hesitant when her daughter said she wanted to play football.
“I said ‘let’s try a clinic,’” James said. “She loved it and I saw that she was good. Her coaches are great. They really truly are selfies people and made all of the parents feel so comfortable with our children in their hands.”
Power said she deals with some occasional taunts from opposing players who say they don’t want to tackle a girl, but her teammates immediately accepted her as one of their own. The team finished the year with a 10-2 record and captured a win in the American Youth Football Super Bowl, beating Worcester in the final game.
“It was awesome,” Powers said of the title game victory. “It felt so good, our coaches had been working us really hard and they said were were going to make it to the Super Bowl, and we did it.”
When she is not evading tacklers, Powers said she enjoys sleepovers with her friends. She stays in shape with CrossFit and by running track, and said she wants to continue to play football when she goes to high school next fall.
James admitted she was a little nervous this year when she saw how much some of the boys had grown during the past year, but said her daughter “handled it great.”
“She is one of the guys, she hangs out with them and they do a lot of team activities together,” James said, adding she attends every game with Powers’ step-father, Dean James, and her younger brother, Tommy.
“I definitely get nervous,” James said, “but I also get super excited.”
This article appears in the Dec. 15 Holiday Edition of the Town Crier.