Shea Murphy-Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Sophomore Shivanie Ghansiam is currently the only female player in the school’s football program. Ghansiam is not the first girl to be on the Mustangs football team, but she hopes she won’t be the last.

football girl
LRHS’s Shivanie Ghansiam is at home on the school’s football field

Ghansiam is currently a junior varsity (JV) defensive player, playing cornerback but may soon switch to safety. She has been playing tackle football for only a few months but played flag football on the Girl’s Flag football team last year and grew up playing football and a variety of other sports.

Ghansiam said that when she tried out for the team she received some funny looks, but no one said anything mean or discouraging.

When Ghansiam first joined the team, Coach Chris Culton was very welcoming and treated her with respect, just like he did everyone else.

For all the girls out there Ghansiam has a few words of advice. “Go for it and never let anyone get in your way. Someone must break the cycle and go through the glass wall. Everyone has the chance to do what they are passionate about and that means making sacrifices to do so.”

Though Ghansiam does not feel that females are discouraged from joining the team, she does believe that there is not enough publicity on the matter.

She feels as though a louder voice on the topic of girls joining the football team would encourage more girls to try out.

Ghansiam added, “You must be strong enough to ignore that people are looking at you funny, saying horrible comments, and putting you down. That’s more difficult than playing the game. Girl Power.”

While she said it is odd being the only female on the team, there are guys on the team who make her feel welcomed and comfortable.

“Gender, race, age, size, or any way to categorize someone should not get in the way of playing a game with your hands, feet, and heart,” added Ghansiam.

LRHS is looking forward to what Ghansiam is going to do next.

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