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Setting a standard across Section IV

GREENE (BINGHAMTON) — It’s no secret that football is a male dominated sport, but that doesn’t mean girls shouldn’t be allowed to play. There are few schools in Section IV who have females representing on the football field. One of those schools is Greene, where we find a girl who is breaking the stigma and setting an example for females everywhere.

“I don’t really think of her as a girl when she’s playing, she’s just another one of the players,” said Greene head coach Dave Gorton.

“She is a normal player, she’s just a girl,” said Greene senior quarterback Nate Erickson.

Vicki Fleury is tackling the stereotype one play at a time.

“She’s attended every practice possible for the last three years. She works hard just like everybody else,” said Gorton.

A wide receiver on the Greene football team, she won’t let football being a “boys” sport, stop her from playing the game she loves.

“I fell in love with football when I was in fourth grade, but they really wouldn’t let me on the team so I did cheerleading for a year, and I switched back and forth between soccer and swim and finally freshman year I was like, football is what I’m doing,” said Greene junior wide receiver Vicki Fleury.

The buzz on a girl joining the football team started even before her first season began.

“I showed up on the first day, everyone knew who I was, and being a freshman, that was kind of scary,” said Fleury.

But the Trojans immediately embraced the new member of their team.

“It was a little surprising because we hadn’t had a girl in a long time, but I was glad she came out,’ said Gorton.

“It was definitely a little bit of a surprise, I mean I’ve never played with a female but we accepted her,” said Erickson.

But that doesn’t mean Vicki didn’t have to face some challenges.

“Freshman year they were kind of scared to hit me, until I hit back, and that’s when they kind of knew, they could hit me,” said Fleury.

“It turns out she’s actually tougher than some of the kids on the team,” said Erickson.

That toughness has given Vicki the confidence to join other male dominated sports..

“I wrestle some of the guys on the football team,” said Fleury.

But football is her end goal.

“I definitely see myself playing it in college if I get to that level,” said Fleury.

So with one more year left to play on the Greene football team, Vicki is setting a standard across Section IV.

“She’s an inspiration and she’s a great example that all girls out there can do it if they want,” said Erickson.

“Come out practice hard, play hard and be part of the team, with enthusiasm and dedication, and that’s exactly what she’s been,” said Gorton.

And Vicki’s message to any female who wants to play football?

“Go and do it. You won’t regret it. it hurts at first but once you get passed that, it’s the best experience in the world,” said Fleury.

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Nicole Menner

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